World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Thank you Germany

paul_fletcher.gif COLOGNE - The World Cup is over for another four years and Ricco and I are heading home.

We have just arrived in Cologne, where we will spend our final night in Germany, after a six-hour drive from Berlin. With the dust settling on the tournament I think it is a good time to reflect - after all I have witnessed much, learnt a lot and had a great deal of fun in my time in Germany.

There have been lows along the way and moments when time has seemed to slow to a crawl (or just stop completely when the immobiliser broke on Svan).

But there is one thing that will live with me longer than anything else and that is the incredible hospitality of the German people.

OK, in Leipzig I asked one guy what he thought of the England team and, after several seconds of the most profound contemplation, received the somewhat inadequate answer of “**** you”.

And I have to say that the common stereotype regarding German efficiency has been smashed to pieces on several occasions.

Breakdownmechanicdayfive270.jpg But my abiding memory of my time here will be of the warmth of the German people.

I really cannot express how grateful I feel for being made so welcome - and for the lengths to which people have gone to ensure that our trip been so incredibly memorable.

There are more people than I could possibly mention here but several really stand out (and apologies to anyone I have forgotten who really should be mentioned).

The breakdown guy in Troisdorf, who drove me to the off license and back - as well as getting his wife to call us a few days later to make sure we were OK.

Schacher - the mechanic who sorted Svan when he broke down for a second time. Really funny, really helpful - a top, top bloke.

The people at the garage in Hamburg who let us sleep on their forecourt and gave us electricity when we had the, ahem, slight problem with the rear indicator lights.

The actor Joachim Krol - who gave me a lift to the ground at Gelsenkirchen and who has invited us to go out with him in Cologne this evening.

The lads in Helmstedt who invited us to watch the Brazil versus France match with them and provided us with food, drink, pool and a German drinking machine (who smashed me to pieces and ate my breakfast the next day when I simply could not).

And the hundreds of unnamed others who helped us with directions, seemed genuinely pleased to have us here and really, really wanted us to like their country.

Don’t get me wrong. I was glad Germany didn’t win the tournament - and having some kind of faux victory parade in Berlin on the day of the final was well out of order.

But it is people that matter in life and it has been the people that have made the difference on our trip.

Already some are concluding that it has not been a classic tournament in footballing terms but I think that in all other respects it has been brilliant.

The organisation, the stadiums, the welcome - and for that I would like to say a big thanks to the special (and ever so slightly sensitive) people of Germany.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:55 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • One of the Germans wrote:

Paul,

all of your guests have been very, very welcome and they'll always be. It's been as much fun for us partying with you as it was for you to party with us. I guess one of the beauties of Globalization, the European Union etc. is that we CAN have parties like that.

I have friends in Manchester and when I go there we behave like a bunch of college freshmen during spring break. And my being German and their being English kinda complements each other and makes for a very special flavor at those nites... I'm sure you have witnessed something similar the other way around in Germany in the past month.

Anyway, you would like to thank us for the great time and the warmth etc etc? There is one thing you could do for us:

Spread the word in your country about what Germany and the Germans are really like! We've got so much to offer and we would love to proudly show it to our friends from the UK and make them feel welcome.

Unfortunately none of the world cup action took place down at the Lake of Constance, which is just a phenomenal place. Also our Baltic and North Sea coasts are different from yours and are certainly worth visiting. Well, I've been following your blog since June 8th, I certainly don't have to tell you about landscape... ;-)

So have a save journey back home, send our best regards to good old England and come back soon again!

Andreas

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  • 2.
  • At 11:07 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasR wrote:

Thanks for the blog, guys. Thanks for the opportunity to 'meet' other nationalities and at least the chance for trying to understand their point of views.

Hope we will all land save again in our normal lifes now after these 30 days, but save something from this incredible mood for quite a while.

See you in Jo'burg...

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  • 3.
  • At 11:08 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Matthias wrote:

Paul,

glad you have enjoyed your trip over here, you just have got one thing wrong: it was great and right to honour our team's achievements yesterday in Berlin since Germany performed well and played some exciting football unlike other zeam,s in this WC.

Anyway it was great to have you and all the other supporters from around the globe in Germany. Thank you all for having the greatest party in my entire life. I already feel upset that it is all over now. I look forward to meeting all our "new" friends in 2/4 years time.

Take care and see you Austria/Switzerland in 2008.

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  • 4.
  • At 11:18 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • One of the Germans wrote:

You think you've said it all... Yes, I have to agree with Markus: World Cup 2006 in Germany at the Fan Fests and in the cities was definitely the best time in my life as well.

According to new FIFA rules it should take 16 if not 20 years until the world cup comes back to Europe! I might be in my 50s be then... Do people that age still go out and party? Will the old folks homes extend curfew then? ;-)...

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  • 5.
  • At 11:27 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Greg wrote:

I'm very happy you enjoyed yourself and had an entertaining time in Germany. Maybe you'll come back one day for a holiday trip? You'll always be welcome in our country!

Alas, I think you got something wrong about the "faux victory parade". Our squad made it to the third place and that's something no one here dared hoping for when the WC started. In fact, we're all very proud about the Nationalmannschaft's performance and how they restored the country's faith.

I don't know if England would (or actually could) celebrate a third place, but we did because it's a great result and many fans wanted to thank the team. Certainly there's nothing wrong our "well out of order" with that?

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  • 6.
  • At 11:30 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasS wrote:

Wien, Wien, wir fahrn bald nach Wien!
Vienna, Vienna, we're going to Vienna!

See you all in the other German speaking countries in the summer of 2008!

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  • 7.
  • At 11:36 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Markus wrote:

These were great four weeks. A perfect high summer party and lots of nice people from all over the planet. Whoever had the chance and missed it: what a shame! I can hardly remember any negative experiences.

I think the "faux victory parade" you were witnessing was just the opposite of a favourite England chant: Sing when you're winning...

After all, most of us thought that we must be happy if our young (youngest team in the tournament), unexperienced squad escapes the group stages. 3rd place? Definitely a reason to party. This time. Next time we're expecting more again ;-).

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  • 8.
  • At 12:11 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • ali akbar wrote:

When I chose germany over US and UK for my master studies, I knew the football worldyp will be here as well but I had no idea it would be such a remarkable experience.
Whoever proposed the idea of Fanfest is a genius indeed and the way it was actually implemented........my slute to all involved.

Got to know a lot of people from around the world. got invitations and offers to stay from many countries, far and near.

every game followed by a celebration, every night an enless party..right till the end.

DANKE DEUTSCHLAND fuer ein wunderbar WM. WIR SEHEN UNS WIEDER!

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  • 9.
  • At 08:50 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Henrik wrote:

Paul,
it's only 67 days till the Munich Beerfest starts. Sure you want to go home already?

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  • 10.
  • At 10:22 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • San wrote:

Im glad you enjoyed ur trip too and I loved having all different nationalities over here in Germany and esp. enjoyed the England fans. Im german and my boyfriend is english and Im supporting both teams equally much (I know sounds mad for some people ;)) I had a brilliant time at the english public viewing in Gelsenkirchen with all the english fans there, the atmosphere was brilliant, just a shame we didnt win ;)

I also have to say that the 3rd place party was deserved and not ouf of order, we definetly had a reason to celebrate :)

Its a shame the WC wont be coming to Europe for a long time now but Ill never forget that one, had a brilliant time and Im glad everyone likes Germany better now ;)

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  • 11.
  • At 10:25 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Alpineboyo wrote:


AndeasS, did you mean the other countries that speak German, or the countries that speak the 'other' German?! Schweizer-Deutsch is a whole different dialect, including the classic 'Merci vielmal' for 'Thanks very much'. Et n'oubliez pas qu'il y a des autres langues ici en Suisse!

Nevertheless, all will be welcome, no matter what language they speak. Even the normally calm Swiss are starting to get a little bit excited!

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  • 12.
  • At 10:45 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Michael & Astrid wrote:

All the best, Paul Fletcher. Glad you had enjoyable and interesting days (and nights) here with us.

Auf Wiedersehen! See ya again soon,
we hope?

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  • 13.
  • At 10:57 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Resali wrote:

Thank you Paul. Thank you Germany.

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  • 14.
  • At 11:18 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Nice to have read all your blogs (well nearly all)glad you met the real Germany, the competion may have disapointed but the event was wonderful, well done Germany. Fingers crossed that we get chosen in 2014, but I doubt it. I did get to watch live in 1966 in my 20's if we get the 2014 I will be in my late 60's (I hope).

PS roll on 2008

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  • 15.
  • At 12:00 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Dale wrote:

I am English and live in Germany. In the past when people ask me why do you want to live there, I told them the people are great, the country is beautiful (still working on the food)the response was negative, because they know nothing about the place. Hopefully the word will spread now from the people that came over and had a great time.
My final point is regarding the party in Berlin. I believe it was a real opportunity for a country to say thanks to a limited team who gave it their all and certainly entertained(that's the business they're in) but more importantly it was an opportunity for Germans to celebrate the fact they are German for the first time since the 1930's (The Wall apart), and they loved it and even I felt proud.
Well done Germany, thanks Klinsy!!

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  • 16.
  • At 12:06 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Paul,

I'm glad you had a great time in Germany.

Your blog has at times been highly entertaining and you have on occasions come accross as a genuinely nice guy.

This is why I am totally confident that, given adequate training in racial awareness by your paymasters, your "blog" will be as enjoyable for me as it seems to have been for those who have posted above and on previous "blogs".

I hope that the BBC will demand of you that you treat your journalistic subject matter in an objective light prior to having come into contact with it (and even once you have come into contact with it, I hope the unavoidable loss of said objectivity will not draw you to into making the kind of generalisations which have appeared on this "blog" in the past month) - I hope, for example, that your views about the Austrians and the Swiss are not such that it will take a great Euro 2008 (on the hospitality front at least) for you to see them in a "new, refreshing and entirely positive light" (Here, I feel obliged to point out that your coming to this positive opinion of the Germans as a whole based on your encounter with a tiny portion of their population is, whilst perhaps of minute benefit to them, incredibly patronising)...

Some countries will never host a World Cup (or a European Championship). I hope the people of those countries will not be seen in a lesser light by you as a result of not having the opportunity to impress you during the month long duration of a major tournament.

Bon vent!

Martin

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  • 17.
  • At 12:20 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Marc wrote:

Well I hope some of the English fans who went to Germany will be a bit more welcoming to the "Continental" people now...I travelled to many European countries and I have to say the UK is one of the less welcoming country in Europe (actually I shouldn't say that since most of the English people do not consider themselves as Europeans)...The majority of English people (thank god there are some exceptions) couldn't care less where you are coming from, they are not curious of other cultures, and when you speak English with an accent they kinda look down at you...And then they are all the racist jokes on the French, Germans etc in the Sun...I hope this will change one day...but I doubt it...

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  • 18.
  • At 12:32 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

To be honest: I never thought that German people were that nice. But i came in a country of very friendly people and to a well organised party. I will come back there. As soon as possible. Thank you Germany!!!

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  • 19.
  • At 12:37 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • LIVERPOOL GIRL wrote:

I'm glad Italy won the world cup!!


I HATE RONALDO!!

www.ihateronaldo.com

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  • 20.
  • At 12:48 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Snowy wrote:

I had a magnificent time in Germany spending two weeks following the Australian team.

I have been involved in organising international events in the past and there was very little that I could fault. But what really made it was the two things that an event organiser can not control - the weather and how the local population treat you.

The weather was generally superb and contributed greatly to my rehydration efforts (one litre at a time ...).

The people - I just can't say enough good things. Polite, humorous, keen to make sure you were enjoying yourself and also (I think) keen for you to like them and their country.

They made it an amazing experience.

From the bottom of my heart - thank you

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  • 21.
  • At 12:53 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Falk wrote:

Hello Paul,
thanks for your blog, it was entertaining and informative.
The comments gave insight and perspective.
As to "having some kind of faux victory parade in Berlin on the day of the final was well out of order".
Good grief, cut us some slack. It just felt good to be liked for a change, caused apart from other things by the refreshing style of the german team.
That was, what we celebrated.
I can´t imagine that you wished us to stay gloomy after the lost halve-final.

come back soon and thanks for your effort.

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  • 22.
  • At 01:17 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Keith wrote:

I hate people who say things like "i hate Germany they are crap", especially when they post it twice and have no sense of grammar.

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  • 23.
  • At 01:32 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

To djavan:
Don't complain about racists. Your post here shows that you are one yourself.

Also, I have no complaints about the German team and fans celebrating in Berlin on the day of the final. They are the home team, put up a great tournament and came 3rd. It didn't take anything away from the final itself and ensured that the street party atmosphere at the Berlin "Fan Mile" continued and helped send the World Cup off with a bang.

Glad you enjoyed Germany. I'm English and came here 18 years ago. I loved it so much that I stayed.


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  • 24.
  • At 01:39 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Broon wrote:

I also had a fantastic time in Germany and can't speak highly enough of the German people I met.

Martin - please do not take it as patronising, the view of Germans from Britain has been an uneasy one. Germany is not promoted in this country, in any way. Even the stereotype of being efficient is told with derision. Also, it is not necessarily to be assumed that a host country would be so hospitable as the Germans have been. Before the tournament I had no real opinion on Germany or it's people - now I have a very positive one - as I'm sure millions of others do too.

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Martin - comment 16 - thanks for your post, very interesting.

The one question that springs to mind is this - how many Germans do I have to meet before I'm allowed to form an opinion?

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  • 26.
  • At 04:14 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasR wrote:

Hi Fletch,
how many Germans do you have to meet before you are allowed to form an opinion?
All of us! And after 82 Mio hangovers (o.k. let's substract the children and antialcoholics) you will find out that it is simply not possible to form an opinion about THE GERMANS (you may have realized during your stay that there isn't even THE SOUSAGE in Germany). We have 16 states in Germany, in which you will find up to 3 different populations who all regard themselves as being different (and a few are indeed..). A lttle bit like Great Britain. And of course we have all the great guys and girls and the big a..holes, as every other nation has, too. Doesn't make life easier, but very interesting!

I'm leaving this great WC 2006 Blog now, trying to become a normal German again, after these incredible 4 weeks

Thanks & Best Regards
Andreas

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  • 27.
  • At 04:41 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Fletch,

However many Germans you end up meeting during your lifetime, you should never, ever form an opinion about the Germans in general (or any other "groups" of people).

A greater-than-average proportion of a particular country's inhabitants may indeed display a particular characteristic (due to factors such as the education system in said country, the country's history, the country's political climate, cultural heritage, etc...). Firstly, this characteristic will have to be incredibly vague if it is indeed to apply to all the inhabitants who are to form this greater-than-average proportion. Second, those inhabitants of said country who are not part of this greater-than-average proportion will end up being assumed to have a certain character trait which simply is not theirs.

However, I don't believe the above to have any relevance whatsoever.

Why do you NEED to form an opinion on the Germans? Surely if you meet an individual who happens to have the German nationality, you should judge him on what HE is like as an individual, not on a preconceived opinion you have of the set of people who have the same passport as him (ie. the Germans). Why this need to have some opinion on "the Germans"? (or the French, Italians, Americans, etc...)

Fletch, I think you need to ask yourself the above question. For a lot of people, the answer is that if one has already formed a partial opinion of someone before one has even met them, one will find it easier to deal with them when one finally does meet them. Is this the case for you?

Whatever the reason, I hope you will address it sooner rather than later (preferably before you are given your next "blog" assignement...)

Yours,

Martin

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  • 28.
  • At 05:25 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • geraint wrote:

So

The secret is out.

The German people are nice guys really!

Some of us have known this for ages, but it was nice to see a journalist talk about a country with a view to its hospitality rather than based on the antics of their national squad.

Critics of the Portuguese nation, please take note. (Critics of England, please take note also...)

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  • 29.
  • At 05:38 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasS wrote:

Martin, relax... it's time for decaf for you now... ;-)

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  • 30.
  • At 05:40 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Sandra wrote:

As a German stuck in the USA during the World Cup, I basically lived through you and your blog!!! I laughed, I cried...I felt I was there!!! Thank you!!

Glad my home country and my people got to show even the Brits that we're nice :-)

Cheers,

S.

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  • 31.
  • At 05:42 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Sandra wrote:

As a German stuck in the USA during the World Cup, I basically lived through you and your blog!!! I laughed, I cried...I felt I was there!!! Thank you!!

Glad my home country and my people got to show even the Brits that we're nice :-)

Cheers,

S.

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  • 32.
  • At 06:12 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Lu wrote:

Paul,

though it's encouraging to finally hear a few good things about anything to do with Germany coming from a Brit, especially an English one (if I'm not mistaken?), some of your and your colleague's statements, the last being your "well out of order" about the celebrations on Sunday, seem to indicate that these new positive sentiments probably don't run too deep.
I grew up in an Anglophile family, have read English books all my life, studied English literature, watched movies in English, and met Anglo-Saxon (not just British) prejudice, unfairness towards all things German again and again, in people, in books, in newspapers, in documentaries: When friendly, Germans are judged to be sucking up and trying too hard (the Hun is either at your feet of at your throat). If neutral: there you go, German coldness. If angry: aggressive Huns. If offended: see, no sense of humour, and over-sensitive. If behaving in any way less than saintly: unfriendly, bad, bad Jerries.
I have an English colleague who's lived here in Germany for decades and agrees with me on this, puts it even stronger, and is ashamed of this prevailing attitude in Britain (which I believe extends to the US, too). And I've been wondering: from the age of around nine when I met an English girl who told me "I don't like Germans", to my twenties when an English kid told me we Germans want to forget all about the war, because I didn't know some strategic detail about some battle in Africa (?! this is not what is important for us to remember, the Holocaust is), to the books of e.g. Donna Leon, where dislikable tourists in Venice are always German, the good ones always American, to a few years ago when an English aquaintance informed me that "the war seems to be a taboo in Germany" - (I wonder what he meant when throughout the nineties and even now, there was no week going by without a war documentary on TV, an article in "Der Spiegel", with the discussion about the Holocaust memorial etc). From every other US movie with a German character or actor as the villain to the yearly news about German children being chased by bottle-throwing English teens or grown-ups in England, I've been wondering:
What do these people learn about Germany at home? And why? I lived in Greece for many years, that country was actually occupied by Germany in the war and suffered terribly, but never have I come across this kind of hostility.
As you see, I get carried away on this subject, but it has been with me for a long time. Finally, there seems to be some hope of fairness, at least temporarily.
But even you, who had such a good time here, can't stop insinuating sinister motives into a happy celebration: "well out of order". You probably mean, it was arrogant of us, we pretended we were the winners, Germans going over the top with everything they do, as usual? Like your colleague Rico who could think of no other explanation for the celebrations of our team on Sunday than "emotional blackmail" of Klinsmann. ?!?!?!?!?!
Why can't you understand? For the first time since the war that we caused, we are starting to feel better about ourselves, even good. We'll see how long that lasts, but for the time being,that's how it is. That's why we were celebrating, and because our team exceeded all expectations and the world had a good time here. I'm glad you did, too, though I can't help but wonder how much you've really learned.

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  • 33.
  • At 06:40 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • ZARGORN wrote:

Another German stuck in the US here. Thank you for the grat blog. I hope we can live up to that great new image if Germany. :-)

As for the 3rd place "World Champion of Hearts" celebration in Berlin: I thought it was a better way than lamenting what went wrong in the semi final. I am sure you would agree that it is better than the scape goat search that often starts after a world cup defeat.

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  • 34.
  • At 06:42 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Zeus T wrote:

Dear Germany
Thank you for having me. I had a lovely time and look forward to coming back to see you quite often.
Before I came over I thought I might like it, but it turned out better than I could ever have hoped. I think it is the best party I have ever been to.
In 12 years time I want to have a party here in England as good as yours but I don't think it will happen as a lot of people here hate foreigners and think they are superior when they are really probably very thick. Unlike you, they are not interested in anyone else from a diffrerent country - or indeed a different city. It is funny because all the people at your party were really nice. We also do not yet have any decent stadiums or transport systems.
Thank you again for a brilliant party,
Zeus T (age 12)

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  • 35.
  • At 06:53 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Jimmy wrote:


Had the time of my life in Germany!!! INCREDIBLE fan miles, friendly, warm, helpful people and just a REAL good vibe. This was my first WC but I travelled with two pals (from Canada) that have been to the three previous WC's. We all agreed it was fantastic. Even the cops were cool!!
Gracious winners (supporting my friend for Argenitna/Germany game) and fairly gracious losers too (was at the Italy/Germany game). Nothing got too out of hand (although I didn't like being called a mafioso by the media and those guys at the beer stand, it's okay, it was game day---by the way, the twenty of you owe me two beer each, remember??!!!).

Way to go Germany!!!! A FANTASTIC job in the six cities I visited, I'm proud for you and want to thank you for the INCREDIBLE time (and Viva Azzurri!!!)

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  • 36.
  • At 07:33 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • SvenDerby wrote:

Paul,

thanks for writing this blog! Complete pleasure all the time. Go on like that, keep your eyes open for 2008 and go back to good ole G whenever you like. Won't be different to WC times.

Looking forward to EC in 2008 and beating England one more time. At least if you don't fully exchange your team.

And, Martin, shut it, would ya! All that sociology-pc-whatever rubbish. It's about football, mate!

Sven

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  • 37.
  • At 09:30 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • englandfanforever wrote:

Thanks to the people of Germany and congratulations!. Thanks BBC - Its been an absolute pleasure!

See you all next time......

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  • 38.
  • At 10:07 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • tony bee wrote:

martin, wonderful to know that you like living in Germany. It would be even more wonderful if you stayed there.

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  • 39.
  • At 10:40 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Wolf wrote:

Martin (not you Ricco),

Your arguments may all sound good in a world of make-belief, but your reasoning has a number of major flaws. You are entirely disregarding the human element in ‘human nature.’ What you criticize in Paul is in fact behavior present in all of us but only varies in degree. Human beings need to compartmentalize and judge in order to comprehend and process. It is ‘human nature’ and an absolute necessity for us to function. You can disagree with his conclusions but you should not criticize the process. It has been an essential element in human evolution. Moreover, if we implemented your concept of not forming general opinions about any group of people, the world would come to a squeaking halt.

I also disagree with Paul’s statement regarding the faux victory parade. But so what! That’s his opinion and we have the opportunity to present our point of view. It’s called an exchange of ideas (opinion) and is also fundamental to human development.

As far as your ‘racial awareness training’ in comment #16 goes: I think you went way overboard! Nothing that Paul (or Martin Richard) has written suggests a lack of racial sensitivity. You personally may choose to view a statement as potentially ignorant but to go beyond that is inappropriate and unfair on your part.

You may also want to think about this forum. It is about two individuals traveling through a (to them) foreign country reporting on their personal experiences. Consequently, personal opinions are appropriate and in fact necessary. Your ‘journalistic objectivity’ statement is therefore also a lot of mambojabo.

(In summary: an Englishmen residing in Germany criticizes an English BBC blog reporter about his supposed (at times) critical or stereotypical views on Germany/Germans. A German comes to his defense (not that he needs it) by offering counter viewpoints. Now who says we have not made any progress.)

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  • 40.
  • At 10:53 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Markus wrote:

Here we have examples of them all: happy Germans (many), thankful Germans (many), bitter Germans (one or two), self-righteous Germans (are you listening, Martin?) ... Wherever you live, think about your neighbourhood and friends and you'll find exactly the same.
As Germans we should not get carried away with this sudden (and most likely temporary) outpour of sympathy and be aware that the Love-In of the last weeks is not the whole picture. There are more than enough of us Germans who will be more than happy to bring "the harsh reality" back personally, being the idiots they are.
As visitors it would be nice if you keep in mind that we're just ordinary people with diverse characters, just like all of you.

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  • 41.
  • At 11:18 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Wolf wrote:

Markus, Martin is English.

Tony Bee, I don't mean to laugh at Martin but your comment made laugh out loud! Very funny!

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  • 42.
  • At 01:05 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

Aside from the football, a german blogger somewhere on these blogs after the portugal game who posted something along the lines of " for you tommy ze war is over, but zis time zer vill be no escape because ve haf sabotaged ze motorcycles und you are condemned to four more years of vot might haf been!" I think it was marcus. So funny and maybe they are even winning in the humour stakes. Thank you that man!

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  • 43.
  • At 10:35 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

At this point it is important to point out that 2 different Martins have posted on this blog. Myself (post 16 and 27) and another martin (post 23). Whilst the Martin in post 23 may reside in Germany, I myself reside in the UK...

Yours
Martin

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  • 44.
  • At 11:02 AM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Martin (from the UK) wrote:

Wolf,

I couldn't agree with you more that "human beings need to compartmentalize and judge in order to comprehend and process". What I object to, is human beings doing this based on an individual's passport. There are other forms of generalisations which I object to as well, however, we should probably steer clear of these here. Making any generalisation on the Germans means ascribing a particular characteristic to approx 82million people purely based on their passport. Does that not seem slightly ridiculous to you (and more than slightly dangerous)?

Paul has made racial slurs on his blogs (eg. assuming an individual to be Japanese and basing that assumption on the individual's skin colour). This is why I believe that Paul, before he is given another blog by the BBC, that will be read by thousands, should gain a certain awareness that such assumptions, whilst "hilarious" to some, may not be so "hilarious" to all...

Finally, you will not find in my previous post a single instance where I claimed that Paul should not display any subjectivity once in Germany. I agree, subjectivity is the raison d'etre of a blog. However, I did say that if were to be given a similar blog for euro 2008, I hoped that he would not have a preconceived opinion of the Austrians and Swiss before having even met them, as seemed to be the case with the Germans.

Yours,

Martin

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  • 45.
  • At 03:08 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Andre (almost a real Hamburger) wrote:

Lads,
Thanks for the compliments. You are always welcome here.

cu next time
Andre

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  • 46.
  • At 07:34 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Bratwurst wrote:

Nice to hear that you liked it in our country and overcame (nearly) all preconceptions and biases. Have a good trip home and be welcome to return whenever you like.

However, I must agree with some other posters here, I cannot understand why you denied us the right to party for reaching the 3rd place?
It is not a "victory parade" since we Germans are all intelligent enough to know that we only came 3rd.
Maybe it is really a trait of Anglo-mentality to only celebrate 1st place, so it is rather your shortcoming and you must work on it.

For example, 4 years ago, believe it or not, when Germany came 2nd (unexpectedly, too!) we had a celebration with our team returning from the WC2002 in Asia and they were received (tradionally) on the balcony of the 'Römer', a central place in Frankfurt.
It was the same picture!!! Also then you could see masses of fans with flags and in our colours cheering, singing and making a party. Because of this picture, our then coach (and another public hero and ex-WC-winner of 1990) Rudi Voeller was prompted to say: "Hey, what would have happended here if we had acutally WON the final?!"
And so you might then have drawn the same conclusion of a "faux victory parade". But what is your problem, you might already have noticed during your stay that Germans like to party, so what??
3rd place no reason? It is !!!

Or is it sheer ENVY because England never gives its' fans enough reason to party (1,2,3 or 4th places) since they have not reached anything for over 40 years now?

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  • 47.
  • At 08:10 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Wolf wrote:

Martin,

Paul did not make a racial slur in the ‘media center brawl’ report. He only prematurely identified the two men in question as Japanese and not Asian. That may have offended some Japanese because no one wants to be associated with a negative event. But to call that a racial slur is incorrect and unfair towards Paul. If he would have qualified his statement further with a negative description of the feuding individuals, then I could possibly accept your claim. But he didn’t and I therefore find you accusation incorrect.

Take care and good luck to you!

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  • 48.
  • At 10:36 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • Rippe wrote:

@fletch: Thank you,too!!!
it was a very nice evening!!
don't hesitate to contact us, if you want to come to helmstedt again!

Yours faithfully
R I P P E

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Firstly - Rippe - thanks to you mate for everything - for drinking me under the tale, helping me to get home - just everything.

Secondly - OK, OK, I take it all back about the victory parade. As I have said previously Germany played well and maybe you deserved your parade.

Thirdly - Too many Martins. I find it interesting that I have been judged by people who say my flaw is that I judge...

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  • 50.
  • At 01:22 AM on 13 Jul 2006,
  • tony bee wrote:

Fletch, For God's sake, don't mention yodelling, clock-making or rock climbing.
all the best to you.

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