Day 1: Arrival in Frankfurt, Germany Loses Semifinal
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Welcome to the Browncoat at the World Cup weblog.

ok, first blog about my trip. This keyboard is german, and i am not so this will be slow and painful. it's about 5.30 a.m., and i'm not all that sure why i'm awake, but oh well.

made it here without too much incident, the flight went quick, but i didn't sleep on the plane, as by the time it was midnight for me, i could see the sun rising out the window, so i gave up on resting all that much. so let the marathon awakement begin! near as i can tell, i was up for 33 hours straight. almost as bad as an all-nighter at work! only more with the walking around and such.

also, the women around me on the plane were wearing too much perfume. like to drive a person insane. and it nearly did.

Stephen and Britta collected me at the airport, and we took the train to their neighborhood, the Neideradd. we walked around after dropping off my gear, and visited the grocery stores to stock up on food, the butcher to buy sausages (hey, it's germany), the bakery to buy bread, all within a few block radius. s and i were standing outside the grocery, looking at the adverts posted in the window, that sported photos of small children wearing funny little cartoon underwear. s quips 'oh, look. they sell children too.' For a german fellow, he's quite irreverent, and he cracks me up on a regular basis.

the weather is very hot currently, and the folks here are suffering from it. 95 degrees today in a country that has no AC. i'm from Texas and i thought i was tough, but sheesh. these folks don't even own fans! i showed britta how to make a hand-held fan with a piece of paper, something i learned while attending elem school in San Antonio. she came back from class later carrying her own little fan that she had made from my example. seems the building was so hot they moved her class to the cellar, it being cooler. wild!

this was my first time meeting Britta, Stephen's SO, and i think we're going to get along great. she's a tiny thing, with a very dry sense of humour. i like her, and she is very kind to invite me into her home having never met me. i'm looking forward to spending more time with her.

later in the afternoon, we walked down to the Main river, which is about 4 blocks from britta's apt, as stephen and she are members at a sailing club. they don't sail, but the club building is beautiful. it sits at the top of a rise from the water, with it's own little pier, and 3 boat sheds. s and i camped out on some deck chairs in the shade, watching the scullers and kayakers and 'dragon' boats and huge industrial-sized tankers go by. We sat and chatted and waited for 9pm to roll around, as the members were gathering in the main salon to watch the match on the projector TV. the building also sported a full kitchen with the largest window in it i have ever seen, a wet bar, and the most amazing maps hanging on the walls in the hallway to the bathroom, where the waterways, seas and oceans look like land masses with diagrams and shoals and all types of indicators all prominently marked. on those maps, the land masses are just vague outlines, something to be ignored, the only interest being what waterways encroach upon them. My host, Stephen. Drinking. Imagine that.

german toilets are cool, as like in new zealand, you can choose a full or a half flush. great idea that i wish would catch on in the states.

i passed out for about 30 minutes with the cool breeze off the water, and woke up not knowing where i was, asleep next to a river in a foreign country. it was quite surreal, what with the sleep deprivation and all. S introduced me to apfelwein, which seems to be a local alcoholic beverage. it reminded me oddly enough of ginger beer, only with an appley note to it, not sweet at all. it was refreshing. Me and my world view. Do you hear snoring?

grr, i cannot find the hyphen on this keyboard to save my life, and the z and the y have shifted positions, and the shift key is down too low. sigh. and don't get me started on where the heck the 'at' symbol is.

the other folks at the club didn't speak english too well, so we settled down to watch the match without me talking to anyone all that much, although i was introduced to several folks who shook my hand and smiled a lot.

the game was exciting and suspenseful, but italy scored in the last minute, which was devastating to our little compiled company. the walk home was brave yet somewhat dispirited, with much talk of boycotting pizza for the next 12 monthes. i figure they took it very well. i don't think an american would have been as gracious about it.

a learned a useful saying, in that when a person forgets something, germans say 'what your brain forgets, your legs remember.' we had first hand experience with that when we got all the way to the boat house and realized we had left the meat for grilling in the fridge at the apt. heh. so we got more exercise.

saw some hawks flying high over the city, and the birds are very vocal in the morning. unfamiliar bird song (chimney swifts?) always remind me of traveling. also, the sun went down around 10pm, and rose around 5am, and since the sun woke up the birds, that was what woke me so early i guess.

that's all for now. a new day will start shortly, so the adventure continues! miss you folks, and i'm going to be behind on the boards. which makes me unhappy. gosh i love FFF.net.

ok back for more sleep. tschüss!

-hera (YAY! found the hyphen!)

p.s. reminder that the site is still having problems, so i may not be able to read any blog comments. if in doubt, use the messaging feature, as i have email access.


Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:50 AM


I'm gonna post here just in case you can see it, Hera...

Germany was great, please tell your friends and I too was very proud of their sportsmanship.

We miss you and hope you have a wonderful time!

Look for an email from me!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 4:18 AM


We watched the game as well...tell your friends my husband is so upset that ITaly won he said he's going to watch the next match and spend the whole time using all his energy to make them lose.
The german team should be really proud of how well they played. They were fantastic and had great sportsmanship ( unlike the Italians who were awful) and topknot boy ( whatever his name is on the italian side) is a jerk! Hope you have fun anyway:)


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