Thursday, July 06, 2006

BACK TO LIFE

[Switches blog-lever to ON]

Am back from Berlin.

Actually, I got back last week but found my computer had forgotten my Blogger password. I can't really complain about my PC's stupidity as it turns out I'd managed to do the same. And the account I'd registered this blog in had become 'deactivated' due to lack of use. Thank God for scraps of paper left lying around bedrooms, eh?

[Memo to self: obscure passwords - good for security, bad for guessing when you've only ever typed them in twice...]

Anyhow.

My World Cup trip was amazing. For various reasons it's all still a bit of a blur (the alien abduction complete with mind-washing didn't help much either), but I owe a Big Thank You to the Doughnut Boy for his incredibly kind hospitality, allowing us Britishers to take up semi-permanent residence in his spare room.

Highlights from the trip included being at the Mexico-Argentina game where I saw the goal of the tournament:



and was mistaken for Pete Doherty:


(Hint: I look nothing like him but decided a daft pin-striped porkpie hat was a better choice for a skinny muscular liberal than a sombrero)

We also found that German kebabs are to English doners as caviar is to crab-paste, and this fine brew:


can be drunk in 35 degrees heat without causing a hangover.

Much fun was had doing our level best not to watch one of the worst games I've ever seen (Switzerland-Ukraine) in a converted swimming pool in East Berlin.

No, not that swimming pool:



It wasn't all work, work, work.

I met a fair number of top anti-Germans, each of whom had unique takes on the Euston Manifesto, some going as far as describing it as "the most important thing to happen to the Left for the past decade" - quite a nice surprise that.

Unfortunately my German is pretty ropey to say the least ("Frank ist krank" and "Schaisser, Ich bin schwanger" being about the sum of my knowledge) so we'll have to wait for a bit until a kind soul can translate the critiques I'm supposedly being sent.

I also met a top man who runs a blog by the name of Jim Hancot. Him and Doughnut Boy Andy were heavily involved in organising the annual AFFI cup - an anti-fascist football tournament with teams from all over the shop. Sadly it was played in intense heat so I missed almost all of it, instead seeking refuge (and catching England-Ecuador) at the impressive fan mile:


where the England fans were singing what everyone back home was no doubt thinking ("We're Shi*, But We're Wi-i-nning") and providing unexpected entertainment for bemused onlookers by dancing like Peter Crouch far more often than perhaps they ought.

On the down side: every train I caught was delayed, we were confronted by a Polish nutter who decided to shake our hands because he had "respect for the English hooligans" (and refused to leave us alone despite vomiting all over our table, so we did instead) and our party became somewhat addicted to the mighty MAOAM:


I'm not even going to mention the abomination that was the Lion Bar cereal. Oops.

But other than that it was a great trip. Football, beer, music and politics.

Top banana.

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