World Cup Open Thread
John Lei for The New York Times
A Greek frappé in Astoria.
England in Ulm
* Paul Fletcher - Sport Interactive journalist
* 21 Jun 06, 12:12 AM
ULM - I met a Swedish fan at the start of the tournament who had a T-shirt that read "Sweden 2-2 England - agreed?".
Well, it may have been agreed or it may not have been agreed but at the end it was indeed 2-2.
Ricco and I watched the England versus Sweden game in the main square in Ulm, a moderate-sized German town on the border of Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria provinces in the south of the country.
Ulm has a huge Munster (church) with a spire that towers 161.5 metres high. It is absolutely astounding.
But what I have found astounding is the sheer brilliance of this country.
We have parked tonight in a stellplatz (literally setting-up place) tonight. It is a designated camper van area and it is free to stay here. There are no busybodys moving us on, nobody assuming the worst, nobody looking to make a quick buck.
Frankly, people here have a superb attitude and could not be more helpful, friendly or willing to go out of their way to help the visitors in their country.
The huge church spire dwarfed a pretty sizeable big screen but at least with relatively modest numbers out in Ulm Ricco and I could see all the action.
A group of 30 to 40 English fans mingled in good nature with the local Germans and the there was an atmosphere of light-hearted fun as Ricco and I munched our way through a few sausages.
More than a few Germans turned out for the match wearing England colours. Honestly, could you ever imagine the reverse happening in England?
The blunt trurth is that in my experience over here the Germans love the English.
Had we met at the second-round stage that might all have changed - but for the moment it really is hands across the water and friendship to one and all.
Long may it last because my attitude towards our German bretheran has changed completely over the last 14 days.
posted by Steve @ 10:39:00 AM