800 Bus Loads of Danes

My first response to a spontaneous invitation to a football match was an usually quick and firm “no”. I haven’t watched much football since my teens and it’s the last social event on my mind as a worthy time off activity from the baby. But last weekend, I found myself sitting amongst 51 thousand others, eyes on a single ball for a good 90 minutes. Being somewhat discontented with the variety of life experiences I’ve had, I resolved to tweak my current selection of social events. This is certainly a good beginning. I thought I was there only to observe the progress of a sport. But my corrupted eyes spotted the social snippets and gathered enough to write a whole blog entry.

The moment we arrived, we felt like the tourists in our home city as the merry Danes all dressed up in their best patriotic costumes made themselves at home with beer and hot dogs. Joining the Danish friend whom we attended the match for, we were fed the most important statistics of the day at the cocktail table.

“800 buses of Danes crossed the border today. Let’s say each bus carries 40 people. At least 32000 Danes here today!”

“This must be the biggest gathering of the Danes outside of Denmark since the last war!”

“The traffic news on the radio today was in Danish!”

Football is most definitely the only sport in the world which compels people to travel far beyond their homeland, to give an hour or so of attention to eleven men on whom they pin their national honor on. The first goal of the match was delivered by the Brazilians within the first fifteen minutes of the first half. Bitter. A second goal followed rather soon after. Argh from the patriots.

Clearly seeing it as more of a social event (It’s also after all a friendly match, by the way), our Danish friend remarked jovially that Danish goals would of course improve the overall cheery mood but anyway, the party will go on. And in wondrous summer glory it did off the field as the Brazilians ultimately triumphed with three goals to one. The beer taps continued to flow along the Reepabahn, where the biggest musical event in Europe was being aired live. The Eurovision Song Contest. More about that next!

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