There’s not a lot of moments like these in Germany.. or so I’m told. The colors black, yellow, and red are everywhere. The country’s flag flies over balconies, out of car windows, and on the back of people’s bikes. People wear the colors on their shirts, drape the flag over their shoulders or around their waist. There is no escaping the pride this country has for it’s team and the hope it carries for them to win the FIFA World Cup.
Today was the first game that Germany played in the series, and they shut out their opponent (Portugal) with a 4-0 win. A group of IES Abroad students and I went down to the Mensa, a very popular student cafeteria near campus, to watch the game on something similar to a jumbotron. The space we were in could fit 1,300 people (students) and by the time our group got through the line, about 850 students had entered to watch the game, but there was still a line all the way down the street.
Food, beer, and Fußball – you can’t get any more German than that. We settled in the grassy seating quite a bit away from the screen, but still close enough to see the what was going on in the game. The first half was crazy. Three out of the four total points were scored in the first forty five minutes and people were excited, but this was different than sports in America. Everyone would get “excited” when Germany scored and then sit back down and continue to chat with their friends while watching the game. It was a surreal experience and I kept thinking about all the NC State (American) Football games I’d been to where people stood the whole game, eyes peering down the field, anxiously waiting for the next play. There were no chants here or “signature moves”. It was just a lot of people watching Fußball.
The game was pretty relaxed, no one was crazy drunk or obnoxious, it was something like the wake before the storm because once it was final that Germany had won, the real explosions started and they haven’t stopped. Here we are an hour after the game and I still hear people yelling and whistling. Cars are still driving down the road honking their horns at every intersection and the bells on bikes can be heard ringing as they ride down the street. Music can be heard from other rooms in the apartments and down the street where one of the bigger viewing venues is. Freiburg erupted in a matter of three minutes and I don’t see (or hear) and signs of them letting up, but hey- why should they? It’s only Monday!
*Additional note as I started to upload pictures… the fireworks started!*
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Alzebeth Roman and I am currently a Senior at North Carolina State University in Raleigh studying Accounting with minors in International Studies and Political Science. This summer, I will be studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany learning about the politics of the EU and its' neighbors. This is only my second time traveling out of the United States and my first time in Europe. In my spare time, I love service, reading, swimming, dancing, napping, and writing which I plan to do in my free time while abroad!</span></div>