I'm about to go off to yet another farewell party for yet another person who's decided to leave Berlin -- there are times when if I didn't have a farewell party to go to I wouldn't have any social life at all, although of course each one diminishes the odds of having one -- but I figured it'd be worth adding a crumb or two in here.
As those of you who don't follow sports probably don't know, and as those of you who live in Berlin are all too aware, Germany beat Argentina last night and goes into the semi-finals. The game was at the Olympiastadion here in Berlin, and the noise went on for a good two and a half hours, as cars filled with cheering, chanting fans drove away from the stadium and into the local streets. People streamed out of shops to wave at the revellers, and, off in the distance, firecrackers and police sirens alternated. And this is for the quarter-finals!
There were cops everywhere, I noted as I paid a flying visit to Postdamer Platz, which for some reason was choked with fans. Some of them were deployed in odd places, though. A big van-load of them were on the bridge near Friedrichstr. station, for instance, possibly to spell their brethren within the station. A nice touch: on the public transportation, after the usual announcements, they tell you at Friedrichstr., for instance, that you can change there for Hauptbahnhof and the Olympiastadion -- and then repeat it in heavily accented English! This is the first time I've ever noticed our public transportation acknowledging that there are non-German speakers around. True, the ticket machines function in a couple of different languages, but that's it.
Ah, well, anything to wring the tourist dollar out of the tourist's hand.
Anyway, I'm not looking forward to Germany vs. Italy. Although I think that's not going to be played here. Still, there are plenty of Italian-owned businesses near my house (yes, another Italian deli just opened up!), so the potential for ugliness is there.
More like it:
There's a couple of gay guys with an apartment I pass on my way from the store each day, and they've got a penchant for decorating the outside of their third-story apartment. One spring, they had Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, complete with rubber snake (and Ken and Barbie in the starring roles) in their window-box. Today, I noticed, they've got a t-shirt taped to the window which says "FICKEN STATT KICKEN." Amen.
And I had a horrible revelation today. Next Sunday, when the WM finals happen, isn't the end of the horror here. No, because the Friday after that comes...the Love Parade!
Someone get me outta here!