Friday, June 13, 2008

Celebrating goals with decorum...

On Sunday we headed to the asparagus festival in Walldorf, the headquarters of SAP, Europe's largest software company. Under German tax law, this little town benefits mightily from its biggest corporate citizen. We'll be moving there in August (more on that in a future post). Anyway, the festival was fairly packed with folks enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere on a beautiful Spring-ish day.
There were plenty of rides to keep the little ones occupied while I sat back, watched a bit of soccer and had a few Hefes. See below a picture of my beer page, a German tradition older than the Reinheitsgebot itself. Sunday morning B and my mother-in-law Cristina took Marina to the airport. Rumor has it that the smell of absinthe had hardly faded from her breath. As they are all wont to do, they got there late and Marina almost missed the flight. She actually missed a flight when we lived in Seattle simply because neither she nor B bothered to look at the ticket! The showed up on the wrong day!

Anyway, Sunday was Germany's first game in the European championship. Having grown up in the US, I only discovered soccer fever when I moved to Rio, where I discovered true fanaticism. Games at the world's largest stadium, Maracanã, which can hold upward of 200,000 people, are part sporting event, part riot and part pagan ritual (and all mass hysteria). Take a look at this video to see what it must have been like to watch gladiators at the Colosseum. Live, it's enough to scare the whiz out of the uninitiated.
I'm not sure if the folks in Walldorf are just more sedate or if it's because it was just the first game of the championship, but the first goal Germany scored was met with hardly a stir. Yesterday, Germany lost its second game to Croatia. There was little joy in the salt mines today.

By the way, a lot of cities in this region celebrate the harvest of white asparagus this time of year. You may have seen pictures of the statue of the "asparagus lady" in Schwetzingen in this blog. The stuff is cultivated in deeply furrowed fields that are covered with plastic; seemingly square kilometers of it in some places. I prefer the green variety myself.

4 comments:

Carol said...

So, do you ever miss Seattle at all? It seems like you guys are just having such a fabulous time that there's no real reason TO miss Seattle! (We are only NOW beginning to see the sun -- and only occasionally...)

Carol

grpNiteroi said...

Hey Carol,
Sometimes I miss Seattle (on Sunday afternoon, for example, when virtually everything in Germany is closed!). I think we mostly miss our friends. I do think we got luck with the part of Germany we moved to.

Carol said...

Well, I still love my mother's Heimat of Ruhpolding (Bayern) the best of all German locale's, but Heidelberg is a very close second. I had a very magical moment in the cathedral there last September (http://northwestladybug.blogspot.com/2007/09/magic-in-heidelberg.html), so it will always hold a special place in my heart!

By the way, do you work for MS Germany? (Feel free to e-mail...)

Carol

grpNiteroi said...

I conspicuously mentioned my current employer at the top of this post!