World cup wind-up

Trip Start Jan 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2006

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Flag of Germany  ,
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Well, back in Cologne - I do love this city and I'd say it has been one of my top five in Europe to date. There has been the wind up to the world cup here the last couple of days and of course the beginning. It has been an exciting time for me indeed.

Those who are close to me know how long I have been saving money and wanting to come to the World Cup and now that it has finally happened, it is like a dream come true. It was while watching the 2002 World Cup from my house in Perth that I decided to come to Europe for the tournament. So I made a friend of mine (Kanako Ohara) a little promise that I would be here and now I have honoured it. I think the fact that I told everyone I was going ensured that I couldn't fail.

Anyway, I came back from Croatia (where customs confiscated my favourite bottle opener!) by plane and I could feel the energy as soon as I got into the terminal. The whole airport had been made over and the staff at the shops were wearing their football shirts of choice. On the train, people were wearing flags and talking avidly about the impending competition.

I stayed with my Queenslander mate, Scott, who is living on campus at one of the universities of the city - he is on study exchange this semester. We did some minor partying, but it didn't help that I was coming down the flu at the time. As I write this, I still am in the midst of it all. There really is nothing quite as joyous as a flu in warm weather - yay! Oh that reminds it is my turn to give everyone at home some shit about the nice weather. I HAVE IT NOW! 30 degrees, oooh yeah baby. Not too hot, otherwise I would require some beach action.

I only stayed with Scott for two nights and then I moved to a couchsurfing dude's house. He was a bizarre Indian bloke from Bangalore. He works in Cologne as a programmer for some telecom here. Pramod was his name and he was obsessed with football to a crazy extent; knew all the player's names and numbers and who they played for (for the English premier league teams). He did have a fundamental flaw in his knowledge about soccer however: he didn't rate Australia - such blasphemy fell on my deaf ears. He gave me this interesting rice and flavour mix meal where you boil the rice then mix in the flavoured paste with your fingers. It was a messy way to eat, but thoroughly tasty. During my time at his house we did two things: sleep and party. Although he didn't drink, he didn't seem to mind going to night-clubs and the like. We watched six matches of the world cup together, four of them on the big screen in the centre of the city at a place called Heumarkt.

So, there is nothing else to report about Cologne that is interesting enough to write about, but I can say that the world cup is definitely living up to expectations and I expect that you are all watching every match. I know some of the people on this mailing list are. Tomorrow is Australia's first world cup match since 1974 - exciting stuff.

Auf Wiedersehen.

PS it is so good to be able to speak to people again! Thank god for Germany.
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