The next day my Bass turned up, which made me happy since I can still go to Mannheim next week and the recording I had planned. Most of the round of 16 games are being held close to Mannheim, so it should be a fun place to take off to the games when not playing music. I will, as usual, be supporting Germany. Admittedly being married to a German gives me an excuse for backing Germany. But I always liked them, and not just becuase they always beat England on penalties. The way they play is supposedly negative and boring, but I have never seen it that way. (If you want negative and boring try Italy). They play as a team – not as a collection of individuals who might get lucky (pace England against T and T, Brazil against Australia). What confirmed this was last Wednesday’s game against Poland. What this day also confirmed is that Germany is a wonderfully odd place.
So Cooley and I were invited by some friends to a local bar. Bench seating, blacked-out windows, a projector TV, a BBQ for half-time, and every drink in the house was three Euros. Perfect. The seating capacity must have been 100 with about 150 people crammed in. The weather here is great, but since no one on Germany has ever heard of Klimanlaage (air conditioning) when the door was shut it was pretty damn hot…and it was going to get hotter.
The first half was tense enough. The Poles fought extremely hard and at half time it could have gone either way. Both teams were playing great football and both were really playing as teams. What changed the second half was the genius that is Klinsmann. I love the fact that the people who control German football (the Bayern Munich Mafia with Beckenbauer in the role of Don Corleone) hate Klinsmann and take every opportunity to have a go at him in the media. “He’s really a Californian…his wife isn’t at the World Cup…his training methods and dieticians are all American…it will all end badly, etc, etc.” Bullshit. This game sent notice that the Germans are going all the way.
Here then was the moment when the knives were out for Herr K. 64 minutes in and 0-0 against Poland and the Poles were playing as good as the Germans. Then came the German substitutions. Odonkor for Freidrich, Borowski for (the marvelously named) Schweinsteiger, and Neuville for Podolski – all in 12 minutes. A desperate last throw of the dice or tactical genius?
Although Odonko often lost out to his marker, his pace on the wing opened up space for the Germans. This move, plus the stability Borowski brought to the midfield meant that the Poles were finally being carved open. Klose and Klose came the shots (if you pardon the pun) off the crossbar twice in the 89th minute. But you knew, if you were watching this, that the Germans did not think they were going to draw, and they didn’t. 90 minutes in, Odonko to Neuville, and its goodnight Poland and a large piece of humble pie for the Media and the Bayerishe Mafia. The bar, the street, the city and the whole country went ballistic – and for once, there wasn’t a bloody Brazil top in sight.
We hung around a bit and then walked back to Oranienburger Strasse for a kebab (possibly the best one in Berlin is at the end of OB Strasse). As I was ordering my kebab a young and punky German couple in their 20s – think tattoos and pierced lips – came in and ordered their kebabs too. They were quite animated and said to me how hungry they were etc. So we all got our kebabs and went outside. Cooley and I sat at a table beside the kebab shop and the two twenty-somethings sat on a bench beside the road some five meters away.
The male part of the couple was very excited and very shirtless, standing up and shouting “’Shland, Schland!” over and over to the passing traffic. His partner was also very excited, and post kebab decided to remove her top too and jump around for the passing cars. Shortly thereafter they started making-out. Then they started REALLY making out, minus her bra and his pants as he held her up a lamppost.
A crowd started to form around them, and when the cheer went up you knew it was full on. A live sex show in the middle of the street. 100 percent ‘going for it’ flat out on the pavement.
Now the crowd was getting bigger and bigger. Every camera phone and video in the crowd was rolling (the fact that this scene is not on You Tube is odd to say the least). More and more people were coming over to see what was going on. That most of the crowd was made up of rather portly Swedish men made the spectacle all the more sleazy. So there they were, banging away on the pavement, and just as I said to Cooley “where the heck are the cops?” just like the Germany – Poland game earlier, the cry went up, the shot went in, the goal was scored, and the crowd started to disperse.
Our ‘kebab and sex show’ couple picked themselves up off the ground and began to put their clothes back on, and then we noticed it. The cops were there the whole time, sitting in a car around the corner eating a kebab and watching the show. Meanwhile, and most oddly, the female half of the pair reached into a bag she had with her, pulled out three bras, chose one, and put it on.
Now, there is something unusual about a person who not only has sex in the street, but wanders around with three bras in her bag at 2am? Its almost as if she knew that the one she was wearing was going to be pulled off and torn as part of the show.
After such a spectacle that there was only one thing for us to do, head for home, and we did. The show that is Deutschland’s Weltmeisterschaft never ceases to amaze and amuse.
p.s. Having done my Team Nike post I will refrain from pointing our how poor Brazil were against Australia. Harry Kewell’s lack of bottle was what separated the teams. I would however just like to note however that when Ronaldinho did a perfectly ordinary back-heeled a pass along the line to a teammate in the second half, the way the stadium reacted you would think he had just done an overhead kick from 30 yards into the goal. They are going to have to do a lot better than this if they want to get past the quarters.