Soccer Fever

Even though I am not such a fan of sports, I went for the public viewing of the Germany vs Austria match, thanks to the insistence of Daniel. And yes, it was worth an experience. The match couldn’t be called to be of the “adrenaline boosting” variety, but it gave me a glimpse of what does football mean in the life of Germans. I was reminded of the cricket fever in India. The same craziness – minus the beer – manifests itself in India when there is a cricket season!
However, there I was – in the middle of the annual Handschuhsheim festival – which Daniel goes for every year and wanted me to see. I went with him and his wife Heike and we were met by one of their friends Monika at the festival. First of all we reserved our seats by putting our coats and jackets over them (easy isn’t it?). Then we went for eating something at the festival. It had candy stalls, the stalls with the usual fete games like shooting and throw-the-ring, a huge musical carousel for kids and lots of places to eat. However, most of the crowd was interested more in the match, as it was one of the decisive matches for Germany (even though Austria was a weak opponent). So after having some things to eat, we went back to the “reserved seats” (wondering if we would find them vacant) and to our pleasant surprise, they were still left free even though it was difficult to break through that maze of people who had filled every inch of the space around. So there we sat (there were some more colleagues from the office) and watched the match, the young crowd singing something (I could not understand the words 😦 ) and which was joined in by the old people as well :-)! The atmosphere was tense – people roaring with joy every time Lehmann (German goalkeeper) saved a goal and cursing when the Austrians managed to even reach near the goal.
Then finally, as expected, the Germans made their entry into the semi-finals and the crowd cheered. We then went out to a small castle, which was being used by make-shift bars, eateries etc., and there were some bands playing. I did not find any young crowd there. Rather, there were enthusiastic “old” people who were dancing away to the tunes of “It’s my life”! Pardon me but I need to use the cliché – “One is as young as the heart is”.
It was such a contrast from the common Indian way of life – where people don’t even realize when it happens – when they don the garb of soberness instead of being the fun loving, partygoers they used to be!
More analysis of the contrast at some other time.
All in all, it was a fun evening and an experience for me to remember, thanks once again to Daniel :-).

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One thought on “Soccer Fever

  1. Hi Shweta, It looks like you had a good time in germany…The way you describe always creates a picture in mind of what you had experienced…already many people have appreciated so I will stop here 🙂In my last trip I just explored one or two village(like ingolstad) instead of city side…next time will definitely try city side.Regards,Ankit

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