Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Football

It's hilarious that even though I've slowed my life down to a snail's pace, I still forget to share amusing anecdotes with you.

For example, there is the night I watched the final of the Euro Cup--or at least part of the final. Sunday, I hadn't eaten much or actually left the house. I decided that I needed to get out so I went in search of dinner. I picked the little crepe place a block away. I haven't eaten there yet, but it seems popular, so I decided to give it a try. In fact, I haven't had a single crepe since I've been in Paris!

I sat myself at one of the two outdoor tables and tried very hard not to block the door. I ordered and, oh, I don't know, about 30 or 40 minutes later, my crepe stuffed with cheese and potatoes arrived. It's quite true the pace of service in France is slower and more nonchalant than in the states, but this was an exceptionally long wait. Still, I didn't mind too much--I had a brand-new New Yorker to read, the weather was fine and the street life was entertaining.

I ate the crepe in less than half the time it took to arrive, paid up and found that I wasn't quite ready to go home.

I walked a couple of steps to the bar next door. I've passed this place a few times but never entered. I've generally chosen a somewhat larger and more anonymous bar across the street. However, the tiny bar had enough occupants that I wouldn't stand out but wasn't so crowded that I wouldn't have a place to stand--so I went in.

I was aware, in a vague way, that it was the night of the Euro Cup final. I even knew that it was Germany vs. Spain, though I'd only learned that two night before.

When I stepped into the bar, I realized that the opening ceremonies for the game were just ending. I also realized that I was going to watch the game.

I stood at the bar, not quite knowing the etiquette for sitting down in this place, and nursed a demi (half-pint) for the first half of the game.

As the teams were being introduced, I chuckled when someone said "raus!" The bartender then asked if I were German. I said no. Not long after, the bartender and another fellow asked me if I were for the Germans. I said no. Spain? I said…I didn't know. They said, you have to be for one or the other! I said, "Espana!" Of course, what was I thinking?

I don't watch a lot of soccer, but it was a fun game. By the half, though, I was ready to leave. My departure wasn't noted as I joined a rush of people leaving to smoke.

While I was in the bar, I noticed people coming in with crepes from next door. Very interesting.

Instead of going straight home, I took a stroll around the neighborhood. I tried to find new streets and I did see a few new things. Most things were closed, except for the bars and restaurants where people were out smoking or gathered near tvs in anticipation of the second half.

I completely forgot about the game until I got home, turned on the tv and realized that only two minutes of game was left. Spain had won by one point--meaning I'd seen the only goal of the game. Do I have great timing or what?

Grateful for: good timing.

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