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    Sat, 01 Jul 2006

    Germany v Argentina / The Kindness of Strangers

    Yesterday afternoon I headed to the local Biergarten as there was a footy match on that the locals seemed pretty keen on.

    Found a (relatively) quiet place to stand to enjoy a Wiezenbier and watch the game unfold. The atmosphere was amazing, very boisterous but not at all threatening.

    Argentina of course scored first whereupon things went very quiet indeed. Germanys reply in the 80th minute sent the place into an uproar bettered only by the elation when they prevailed in the penalty shootout. Along the way got chatting with a couple of people nearby who kindly explained a couple of the nuances of the game when it came down to penalties and extra time.

    After the match I went outside with everyone else and watched people disperse, much tooting of car horns and waving of flags. Got chatting with Ralf who I'd spoken to inside and he in turn introduced me to Rebecca and her partner Jürgen. They very kindly invited me to come with them to a street party in the next town, Schönaich.

    The party was just great - couple of the streets in the village were closed to traffic, stalls set up selling food and beer and a stage for entertainment. Had a pretty decent covers band playing most of the evening, covered everything from Santana to Jethro Tull. We were joined by another friend of theirs, Torsten and a thoroughly enjoyable evening ensued solving the worlds problems over a beer or two and savouring the day's victory.

    I think the thing I was most taken by was the simple kindness and welcome I received as a complete stranger to the area and just how civilised the whole evening was. This care extended through to Jürgen & Rebecca arranging a taxi to get me back to Böblingen rather than me having to rely on phrasebook German to do so.

    Thanks guys, hope we get to do it again one day :)

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