Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Football Story...

Apologies for the last couple of days being without posts. There are a couple of excuses but the summary point is that I was having fun, outside mainly.

Part of this has to do with the fact that I've been entertaining family and doing my tour-guide impression on the streets and trams of Prague, and part of it is to do with football; part is owing to the delicious weather at the moment, and some more to do with trying to maintain a social existence. Oh, and I mustn't omit, work too!

Yesterday I set off with a segment of my family round Prague, and we ended the day at cellar level in a traditional Prague pub- a bad choice for dinner as the national side were about to kick off. Knowing the menu to be totally obscure- all boar's knee and sow's ear-lobe- I asked for an English menu. Sadly with all the misty-eyed patriotism it seemed, errm, that they couldn't find it, so we struggled. As did the Czech football team.

We ate while craning our necks to see the big screen in one direction, and in the other trying to gain the waiter's attention for our small requirements, in between mouthfuls. By the time we left the match was almost over. Drama galore in Germany and the Czesi one-nil down and ten men strong. We strolled to the old town square. A roar erupted from its packed historic centre, but it was a small eruption which soon subsided and never quite rose to the pitch occupied by Czech national fervour. 2-0.

Oops. But the story that has helped me over the brotherly sympathy I tend to have for disappointed Czechs is that a courageous Ghanaian player made a tiny little gesture in the heart of Euroland. Making good a promise he waved an Israeli flag on the occasion of their first goal, identifying with the people among whom he makes his professional living. Good match.

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