Three is more than one

Trip Start Jan 17, 2006
1
31
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Trip End Dec 01, 2006


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Where I stayed
Indian bloke's house

Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ahhh Kaiserslautern, you will always be remembered favourably by me. You have provided me with a castle, a fabulous host with a comfortable couch, but most importantly, you played host to a very special game of football...

I came to Kaiserslautern from Cologne via Mainz. If you know what a map of Germany looks like (which you probably do not), then you will have noticed that it is not a straight path and Mainz is quite out of the way. In fact, in the end, I had to go from Cologne to Mainz to Mannheim to Kaiserslautern and finally to where I am staying in Landstuhl. I went to Mainz because a friend of mine (Anita) had received the tickets for me as I have no permanent address in Europe to have things delivered to. I was so excited when I got the tickets that I almost died. They are so beautiful and they are the colour of Australia too: Green and Gold. Maybe that is some sort of omen? Farewelling Anita as I did almost five months ago from the same platform, I could see that I had come a long way in the way that I am and the manner in which I travel.

Having only slept for about two hours on the floor at the Indian bloke's house, I was really tired and in dire need of some rest. I wanted desperately to stay awake on the train because I was paranoid about people stealing my tickets for the world cup. Anyway, I was woken up by old ladies at the Kaiserslautern station poking me in the shoulder and leg. Fortunately the last stop on the line was where I was going. I met Alex near the train station and I dumped my stuff into his car. He took me to a bar that his friend owns and we got the party started nice and early. I met his girlfriend and her mates that night - every single one of them could have been a model for a magazine - it was sort of strange to be surrounded by such company. I started to get really tired after spending the whole afternoon trying to speak only German again. Alex (my host) was nice enough to take me home so I could sleep.

The house I am staying at is quite nice and it is in a nice quiet town very close to Kaiserslautern. Landstuhl couldn't have more than 10,000 residents and it is nice to have a change from the big cities. The forest starts about 30m from the front door of the house, which is good for Alex's neighbours. Alex's neighbours are a family of Russians that often harbour illegal immigrants, so I'm told. On one particular day, the police raided the house and the illegal immigrants came out the back window and ran into the forest to hide. I thought that was pretty hilarious that something like that could happen where I am now. It is the sort of thing you hear about in stories, but I guess it really happens.

Now for the beef of the entry...I went to Kaiserslautern for one thing and one thing alone: the World Cup match between Australia and Japan. Let's just say that it was worth coming to: I didn't waste my time here. I woke up on the day feeling pretty damn good. As I have already said, this is the realisation of a four-year-long goal of mine. The day had come - I didn't know what to expect for the turn out of Aussie fans, but as soon as I was on the ground in the centre, I could feel it. The whole city was buzzing and Japanese fans were having fun with Aussie fans and vice versa. No animosity at all. From the end of the stadium that I was coming from, there were mostly Australians, so wherever you looked, there was a sea of gold shirts. Beautiful sight. I almost felt like I was back home the amount of Aussies there on the street. We started singing and chanting about two hours before the game and we kept going until about half an hour after the match finished. On the way there, the Australian team bus drove through and we all went mental. Getting to the stadium was a bit of a hike, but I made it into a metaphor, so that it didn't bother me. You see the stadium was on the top of this massive hill and there was no way to get there, but with your own two feet. I made this gruelling task into the final challenge (in my mind) to see whether I deserved to be there after so long thinking about it. In reality, I was just climbing a shitload of stairs.

During the game the Australians felt robbed by the bullshit goal that was allowed to stand. FYI, the referee has come out and publicly admitted that the goal should have been disallowed. The Japanese thought it funny to tease the keeper for the rest of the game, but it is us who had the last laugh - wasn't it now my oriental friends? HAHAHA THREE IS MORE THAN ONE. After the goals went in, we went absolutely mental each time and after the game we kept cheering and laughing and hugging and what-not for about half an hour. Let me just say that at that moment, I felt that all of the last years going on the cheap was worth it: this is what I wanted and this is what I had got. Achieving such a goal is so satisfying. The only thing that would have made it better is if one of my best mates Matthew Low was there with me. He got me into being a football fan and has been there with me for all the big moments. I did the next best thing and called him, though I doubt either of us could have heard each other with the roar on both sides of the globe. Ahh, 'twas a magical moment.

After the match, I thought I'd be clever and jump on one of the buses that was there waiting for us when we got out. To my surprise, it drove about 20 minutes into the middle of nowhere to where there was a carpark for ticket holders.

That night Aussies partied long into the night. I got home about 2am after drinking a shitload of piss all night. There was a concert with a coverband and they were pulling out all the Australian songs they knew: mostly AC/DC. Could have done with a bit of the old Chisel, but what can you do when you are in Germany?

The day after the match I just sat around and recovered from a hard days night. Alex took me out for lunch and we did the unthinkable and got a kebab for breakfast. I got what was called the superkebab. It was a normal sized bread, but it had so much filling that they couldn't even close the bastard - that is what I call healthy. Jana, the girlfriend of Alex came down with some crazy sickness and was in bed all day, so I sort of felt obligated to stick around just incase she died or something. I did my St. Johns Ambulance course about 10 years ago now - I can still remember the procedure for snake bite - vital in this situation.

Anyway the rest is self explanatory.

Australia 3 - 1 Japan....looks good doesn't it!? I might write again...
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan
Australia 3 - 1 Japan

Well, you get the idea...
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