Hallo vanuit Nederland! I would say good day, but for most people here that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Let me start off by saying that I’m not some crazy soccer nut. I’ve been Tweeting occasionally about the World Cup, and I’ve gotten a lot of responses along the lines of “since when are you a soccer fan?” The answer is only when it’s convenient and my country is doing well — I suppose you could call me a “bumper sticker” soccer patriot. 😉
It has been exactly four years since I previously watched soccer. Ultimately I enjoy soccer a lot more than American football or baseball as it’s more “continuous” (why bother having a clock in football when you stop it every six seconds?). So oddly I get really into soccer during the World Cup, and then don’t give a crap again for another four years.
I figured I’d provide that disclosure so that no one tries to get me on Jimmy Kimmel’s Lie Witness News — I don’t know $hit about soccer, and can name maybe two people on the German team. 😉
Anyway, this brings me to this past Tuesday. I’m in Europe through next week, and I had a couple of different options for getting to Europe, none of which originally involved Lufthansa.
But Germany was playing in the World Cup at 4PM ET on Tuesday, and I thought it would be really fun to fly Lufthansa on a flight at 6:10PM, just minutes after the game was (hopefully) scheduled to end.
Germans love soccer, and I pictured the flight would be absolutely insane either way:
- If Germany won, everyone aboard would go nuts and get drunk…
- If Germany lost, everyone aboard would cry and get drunk…
At least that was my expectation.
I figured I’d get to Washington Dulles early so that I could watch the World Cup game from the Senator Lounge. I mean, if you’re in the US, what better way to watch a German soccer game than in a German lounge presumably mostly filled with Germans?
So I got there extra early and got my drink on. They have a hilariously partitioned off first class section, which isn’t actually different, but just makes you feel special to be in a roped off area… I suppose.
I made friends with the bartender, who was actually (quietly) rooting for Brazil. And then at 4PM the game started. I think an expectations vs. reality meme would kind of be appropriate at this point…
I was expecting screaming and excitement. Instead there was a TV in the corner which was muted, with maybe three people watching.
I don’t have the ability to sit still while watching soccer, so I was pacing around the bar area (that way I wasn’t pissing off the people by the TV).
11 minutes in Germany scored their first goal. I screamed. No one else made a noise. I was so confused. The lady near me even told me to be quiet. Mind you, at this point I only had one glass of champagne.
So I had told the bartender at the beginning of the game that I’d have one glass of champagne for every goal Germany scored. That wasn’t very ambitious, given how many 0-1 point World Cup games we’ve seen this year.
Then minutes 23, 24, 26, and 29 happened. @!#$&*&#@$%&!*@&$%^!!!!!!
I mean, it was like Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show, it was NUTS!
But what amazes me more than anything is that with each goal no one had any sort of a reaction in the lounge. Starting with the second goal they actually all kind of let out a pout as if Brazil had scored. So bizarre. I don’t know if everyone in the lounge was Brazilian or what, but it was almost Twilight Zone-esque. So yeah, I guess my expectations might have been just a bit off.
I was hoping there would be a bit more spirit aboard… and sure enough there was! I boarded during the 75th minute of the game. The crew was in high spirits, and shortly after boarding began the first officer announced that Germany scored another goal. Then 10 minutes later he announced that Germany scored yet another goal. And then a few minutes later he announced that the game was over after Brazil scored a goal in the last minute. The crew was ecstatic, as you’d expect.
Fortunately the flight was fantastic. An American flight attendant — Troy — was working first class, and he couldn’t have been funnier and more professional. There was only one other passenger, so service was especially good (though with Troy working first class I’m sure it would have been great even with a full load).
While I’m usually not impressed by Lufthansa’s food, this flight had the best food I’ve ever had on Lufthansa.
There was caviar to start.
Then an actually edible trio of appetizers.
Then crab cakes as a main course.
And vanilla ice cream and a brownie for dessert. That’s right, a simple dessert! Not octopus flavored sorbet and transplanted watermelon gazpacho for once!
Speaking of good food, someone’s gonna be eating filet mignon and caviar on Sunday night (and go to whatever college he wants)! 😉
Anyway, contrast the lack of enthusiasm in the lounge to the Holland game last night. I was in my hotel room in The Hague sleeping at 10PM, and was woken up by the screaming on the streets just from the excitement over the game starting. And that continued for over two hours, despite the complete lack of anything interesting happen.
Was I crazy for expecting a kiki in the Lufthansa lounge? Who’s going to win the World Cup on Sunday? You guys tell me!