Monthly Archives: June 2006

Autokorso Pictures

After Germany defeated Argentina 4:2 in a penalty shoot-out, long “Autokorsos” or car parades formed spontaneously. These pictures were taken in Bad Honnef. Sorry for the quality, it was a bit dark outside already. Click on the image to see the gallery.

Autokorso in Bad Honnef

Viva Colonia: 50,000 Celebrate For Free

I just read an announcement by the City of Cologne that the public viewing areas for Friday’s match Germany – Argentina will grow even bigger: Due to the high demand, Cologne had already set up an additional public viewing area “Deutzer Werft” for the England – Sweden match. Now this area is again too small to cope with the masses.

The Cathedral in the back: “Fan Fest” in Cologne.
More photos here.

On this square alone, 35,000 people followed the England – Sweden match as well as the match, when Germany played Sweden. For next Friday, the “Deutzer Werft” area will now be able to accomodate 50,000 supporters (WDR) when Germany plays Argentina in the first match of the quarter finals.

But not only the place gets bigger: a concert, originally planned for Monday, July 3rd, will be rescheduled and take place right before the match this Friday. The Cologne-based band “De Höhner” as well as “Brings” and “Basta” will perform. These bands are especially popular during the famous Cologne Carnival, so one can expect a great atmosphere. The best thing is the price: everything is for free, the concert originally was supposed to cost 30 euros entrance fee.

In addition to “Deutzer Werft”, the “normal” public viewing areas “Roncalli Platz”, “Heumarkt” and the square in front of the Chocolate Museum will be opened (and crowded) as well. The city’s official website can be found here.

Portugal – Netherlands 1:0

Yesterday I went to Cologne (Köln) to watch the game Portugal – Netherlands. I went to the official “FIFA Fan Fest” on the Roncalli square. The entrance for this public viewing was free, however you are not allowed to bring your own food and drinks. The prices for drinks are okay, so it was really nice to be there.

Since the game itself didn’t take place in Cologne the square was not that crowded. The biggest group of supporters came from Switzerland who play the Ukraine today. There was a huge video wall with a pretty good quality, so no matter where you stay, you can really follow the games.

Well, the game itself was actually a shame: Portugal won and Holland had to go home, but sometimes what was played on the pitch was not even soccer. One yellow card followed the other and sometimes even turned red. In the end, both teams didn’t play with 11 players anymore.

I have taken some pictures, you can see them here.

“12 minutes – then the World Cup was over”

Finally, it pays off that I did the Swedish course in Uppsala: I could understand the headline of Swedish tabloid “Aftonbladet”. They wrote “12 minutes – then the World Cup was over” after the Swedish team was defeated 2:0 by Germany. Naturally, in Germany everyone is happy about this victory.

Our tomcat Peter shortly before today’s match

All over Germany, it seems that everyone fell ill with the “WM-Fieber” (World Cup Fever) virus. I have never seen so many German flags before, even more than directly after the reunification. After each match, people drive their cars which are decorated in the German colors black-red-yellow through the streets and honk.

The most trendy thing are currently little German flags than can be attached to a car’s side window. On the autobahn motorways, you see many of these flags lying on the side lane because they do not resist the high speeds. I would guess that out of 10 cars, 2 have these flags on.

I am also really happy that the atmosphere during the World Cup is really friendly and nice. No hooligans, instead everyone seems to be tolerant and the supporters from each country can watch the games side-by-side. Even the Turkish “Germans” are supporting the German team, since Turkey didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Our tomcat Peter seems to be supporting our team as well.

Maastricht: Burn Mailbox, Burn!

After a long pause, finally a new blog entry. This time about Maastricht. The first thing I had to do when I was back: I had to check my physical mail. So I went to my room, which is still subleased to a German student until July. When I was opening the mailbox, I had a burning smell in my nose and thought somebody would do a barbecue or something. When I had opened the mailbox, I saw that the smell came right out of the mailbox itself. It was packed with letters and newspapers and somebody must have seen it from outside and must have thought that it was a good idea to set fire to my mail. So he or she did.

Burned Letter

When I was removing the ashes from the box, I found a few important letters, from the housing corporation (announcing a rent increase, see picture) and the new internet provider. Luckily, the internet provider’s mail was still intact and I could retrieve the passwords and so on. This happening again showed me that email is superior to normal mail: you get a lot of spam, but no one can burn your important emails.

The next incident had, once again, to do with going to Maastricht by car. As I said, my room is still subleased until June so I simply had to go to university by car. The city of Maastricht has more or less abolished all free parking possibilities during the time I was in Uppsala. Everywhere you have to pay or you have to live in the street to apply (and pay) for a “Parkeervergunning”, a parking permission. However, in a residental area not far away from the university, there is mixed parking with both free and “fee” parking lots.

The “ticket”

So I was lucky and parked my car on one of the three free parking lots. When I came back to my car, I had a “ticket” on my windshield, saying in German “please park your car somewhere else next time, this is a residental area not a parking site. Thank you.” This is really annoying since you only get that because of your German license plate. Last year I got already a similar letter with a Dutch swearword on it. So as a driver of a car with German license plate you are permanently threatened by these letters and subsequent actions (broken windows, broken antennas, flat tires etc.).

There are other Dutch cars that use these parking lots, too, without the owners living in this street. And it is perfectly legal to use these parking lots. Besides that, there are no parking lots in Maastricht which are not in residential areas. Park&Ride is only available on very busy days and costs 5 euros. So next time, I’m gonna write a small letter in Dutch saying like “I live here and this is a parking lot for everyone, stop writing these ‘tickets'” and then I put this note behind my windshield to see what is left over of the car when I come back :-) . If it doesn’t work out, we have to discuss a toll for the German autobahn. People who live in Germany can buy a flat fee, others have to pay for every hour of usage… :-)