2010.06.26 – 2010.07.11
I didn’t plan on being in Europe during the World Cup. I just booked a ticket and it just so happened that it worked out that way. I turned out to be pretty lucky when it came to being in the right place at the right time for the 2010 World Cup games.
I went with some hostel friends to watch the World Cup USA vs. Ghana game on a HUGE TV screen outside on the water where everyone had huge pillows and laid around watching the game. The food and beer was expensive so I stuck to my free Coca-Cola that they were giving out. USA lost so we had to hear people giving us hell on the walk back, but it was fun nonetheless.
I was in Hamburg, Germany when Germany was in still in the World Cup games. I actually didn’t realize that there was a game on because I was out enjoying the city, but I learned quickly from walking around that there was a game going on. Every store I went into, people were talking about the score. Then, they won. It was nuts. I was on the train heading back into Hamburg and the Germans were going out of their minds – jumping all over the trains, yelling, putting flags out the window, running up and down the aisles, etc. They were celebrating so hard, that they shook the train car! I got off the train, and the streets were just as crazy, of course. Every car was honking, people were hanging out of the windows of apartments and cars, flags were all over the place, people were screaming and running, etc, etc. I found a German mini flag towel on the ground in the train station so I put it on my backpack so that I fit in – although I was the only one not screaming at the top of my lungs.
I got to Amsterdam just in time for the games and they were on a winning streak! It was so much fun dressing up in orange and painting everyone’s faces with the Netherlands flag! A guy walked into the bar wearing orange clogs. “Oh… my god. Those… are… AWESOME,” I said. “I’m not leaving until I get a picture wearing those clogs by the end of the night.” Mission accomplished. There was definitely a photo session of me rocking orange clogs right outside the bar.
A few days later, still in Amsterdam because I didn’t want to leave a city that was having so much fun with the World Cup, I watched the World Cup final game between Netherlands and Spain. I watched it in a local bar instead of going to Museum Plein where all the tourists were because it was CRAZY there – so many people! It was all over the local news and during commercials of the game. Everyone squeezed into that little place right around the corner from where I was watching the game. It was like being in New York City on New Years Eve right around the block from Time Square [which I’ve also done – I guess I like excitement, but don’t want to be smushed].
The local spot where we were was nice because we were able to get food, had front row seats in front of a big screen, and didn’t have to stand at all. Perfect! The game was awesome until the end because Netherlands lost in the last 3 minutes of the game. Everyone was so sad. The city went from complete craziness to complete silence in 3 minutes flat. Everyone was walking around so depressed. It reminded me of the WVU vs. Pitt football game where Pitt won and took away our chances at a national championship. These will be lost games that I will always remember.
Bright side: for every losing team, there is always a winning one! The Dutch are down, but the Spaniards are skipping with joy! I rooted for Holland all day, but I partied with Spain all night! There were certain bars that were packed just with Spanish fans. Good thing that I had a plain white shirt on under all that orange and also that everyone I meet thinks I’m Spanish or South American because of my darker complexion, brown hair, and brown eyes. Not to mention how I’m able to move my hips. I fit in perfectly and had a great time dancing!