Château de Toilette July 2, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Darlings, what can it mean when an Engländer WANTS Germany to win the World Cup? Am I sick? Have the nasty old Boche somehow managed to spike my Weissbier? Is it time to get a one-way Easyjet ticket the hell outta here? (God, I hope there are tickets to Gatwick. I won’t even get as far as immigration at Luton without swallowing cyanide.)
Well, it’s still all a bit too raw to muse about England’s defeat. Was it heroic? It probably was. What a shame they weren’t leading 5-0 at half-time and didn’t then somehow manage to throw it all away with six Portuguese goals in the last six minutes. That would have had a bit more glory about it. And I must say I hadn’t quite realised to what extent my enjoyment of the World Cup was dependent on England still being in. Because I’m now a Euro-mongrel, I thought I’d better do something drastic to demonstrate my grief. Not violent, obviously, because I’m not four. Nor did I throw the TV out the window, which I might have done if I’d had a true Slavic soul. And it couldn’t even be spontaneous, as I didn’t watch the match and only found out the result when two friends sent SMSed condolences. I trundled back into the flat, opened the bottle of wine I’d just bought for dinner, poured myself a glass and then, in a very grown-up gesture, went and poured the rest down the loo. It wasn’t even Portuguese. But it was red, and believe me, darlings, if this now starts a wave of copycat protest actions, may I suggest you buy white wine instead as the red doesn’t half stain your bowl. (I regretted this piece of theatre the second my glass was empty, of course. Luckily, there was some emergency beer in the fridge. Rooney and the kick-missers weren’t going to keep me sober after all.)
So now I can get back to straightforwardly supporting Germany. Germany’s win on penalties over Argentina was a moment of sheer sporting joy, the intensity of which I don’t think I’d felt since I read on the trusty BBC website one winter’s morning that England had won the Rugby World Cup. I watched with a smattering of foreigners and we outgermanned the Germans with our joy. It was high-fives, roaring and physical intimacy all over the shop. And drinking. The Russian and I wandered down the streets afterwards holding German flags. I wondered what our ancestors would think. I remembered that one of my previous moments of sporting joy was watching Bulgaria knock Germany out of the 1994 World Cup at the quarter-final stage. But my about-turn has been complete. The carnival atmosphere and Germany’s intense rush of self-approbation has been completely contagious. Nothing will bring the party to a more sudden end for me than an Italy Portugal final.
In any case, through gritted fingers, and in the spirit of grown-upness, I congratulate my several million Portuguese readers on reaching the semis. (Have they got this far before?) But just so that the party might go on as long as possible, Klinsi and the boys, keep doing your thang…