Saturday, November 04, 2006

Always look on the bright side of life


This song was really appropriate for yesterday evening. For the first time we actually went on an away game from my favourite club, Germinal Beerschot. Even Ingrid came! We drove to the far Genk (in Belgian terms). It is actually just more than an hours drive. But it was a mixed game. We were locked up in a bird cage far away in the corner of the stadium. It is sad but immediately there's the feeling of being a group. The pride for your club takes over and you stand there not willing to back down and show these people something. There's an unwritten binding and you have the feeling that this is what soccer is all about. You make yourself out to be more because you are no longer just a supporter. You've progressed to the heavy club of people who stand behind their club in good or bad. You would travel to the end of the world to take part with this small group of nutters who spend all their money on their club. You are what makes the team. On away games you sing louder because your group is more compact but you all stick up for each other. You are not wanted and just that fact makes you want to be their more.

Well that wonderful, exciting, glorious feeling lasted just minutes and then the game was over. We lost with a convincing 4-0 and were slaughtered the first half. (The real supporter uses "we" even in times of great defeat, not just when victorious times approach our history). At the end of the first half the atmosphere became a bit grimy and potentially dangerous. Half time came just in time for a beer and a toilet visit.

You might want to notice that toilet visits are crucial for a football fan. If you do not go to the toilet you will not be updated. Go to any other toilet in the world (as a man) and your only concern is to avoid eye contact and avoid conversation. You just want to step in, flop it out and stare at a blank wall, in the meanwhile keeping up appearances that they should not try to mess with you because you're tough. Not so at the soccer. In the toilet that's where the action is! The full line-up is being analyzed. The coach is being critized, players are being giving ratings. The angry hooligan that has been mocking his team the whole game all of a sudden comes up with the cleanest and most clever analysis of the game. People throw all their anger out in this little room. It is unwritten that you leave insults at the door and listen to other people's opinions because we all have an opinion and we are all equally important. After this refreshing (both mind and body) moment you do NOT wash your hands!!! This classifies you as somebody who feels better than the common football fan (this is the only rule I do not obey, sorry to the real fans). And to top it of, you step out of the room in your most manly position and yell the first Neanderthal thought you can come up with to get the blood running again. Common you wankers!!!! And we're off again.

Lucky for us the second half the mood changed and we started laughing with our own club, yelling slogans like "it is just a practice game", "we're going for champions league" and my favorite " we're playing them nuts". Of course we couldn't escape the monty python brigade and their all-time classic. We left the stadium in good spirits.

It's been a while since I've written. But I am well thanks for asking. I made the best decision of my life going back to uni doing psych. I also do my best not to bother anybody with it because people tend to feel intimidated and investigated by me when I talk about psych. For everybody: I've had psych for 2 months, at this point I couldn't even analyze a turtle if I wanted to. But meeting new people everyday. And yes there are some cute girls but they are all 18 years old and when I look at them, I see somebody even younger than my sister so thinking of them as anything else but classmates seems like something you can be thrown in jail for. My only concern at this moment is getting through my January exams. Ingrid and I had to find our new way of living together a bit but I think we finally found the right balance between doing things together and working for school. Even if this wouldn't work out, I already learned heaps and will never look back on this as a bad decision.

We finally have got easy weekends coming without obligations: winter is on its way so life in Belgium stops. Already wearing gloves, scarf and hat at nights. But we finally can relax a bit and do stuff with the two of us.

1 comment:

Lyn said...

Enjoyed your blog, Tom! Would you believe our weather here in Oz has been totally weird. In the past few days Q'ld has had hail storms with hail the size of cricket balls and today snow storms. Yes in the middle of summer! Mind you, there was a bush fire raging at the same time not too far away. At least in Belgium you know what to expect and when!