Saturday, July 01, 2006

2 more to go!!

Just two more games to go and Germany will be the 2006 World Cup soccer champ!! Last night they beat Argentina in a quarterfinal match that ended in a shoot-out! Most exciting!! On a personal note, the shoot-out was extra exciting because I learned a new phrase-- "11 meter schiessen" (penalty and shoot-out shots--11 meters away.) During the coffee break at work, people kept using that term but I couldn't imagine what that meant. I made a mental note to ask the first German friend I talked with later in the day. As it turned out, there was so much "11 meter schiessen" going on last night, I figured out what the word meant by myself;-)

Beyond the obvious implications of a German victory, I was hoping for a win last night because of the parade that I was told would spontaneously form on the Kudamm if Germany was victorious. I still don't understand how it happens, but indeed, in the 15 minutes it took me to walk from my apartment to the Kudamm after the game, thousands of people were parading up and down the boulevard with flags, in costumes, drinking, singing, talking on cell phones, just soaking it all in.

As bizarre as it sounds, watching the parade unfold last night somehow had a similar feeling to watching Bush land at the White House on 9/11. Of course the type of emotion could not have been more different. But the level of emotion was similar, as well as the spontaneity of the gathering. For me, both were out-of-body experiences-- a feeling that I was a witness to something much, much bigger than myself. Does that make any sense? I don't know. Let's just go to the tape...

Here are some pictures that I took:

Car parade on the street just south of the Kudamm

Corner of Bundesallee and the Kudamm

Walking in the street on the way to the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church. I decided to get into the street after a guy puked at my feet and a girl fell on me while I was standing on the sidewalk.

This requires no commentary:-)

Sun setting on the Kudamm


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