Saturday night... about 2 thirds of our team went in to the Fan-Meile to watch some live big-screen action with a large crowd. And it was quite a large crowd, the game Italy vs USA was already underway, and the Italians had already scored two goals, one for each team! But we were there for the atmosphere and there was plenty of that! We watched on one of several huge screens set up on Srasse des 17 Juni, (co-incidentally it WAS the 17th day of June.) the screen which almost totally blocked out the Brandenburger Tor. We were split into small groups by the crush of the crowd, but we managed to re-group at the end for a yelling of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi and another group photo. On the train back to Nollendorf Platz, we had a sing off with a bunch of German fans, us singing (very loudly) 'give me a home among the gum trees' and Advance Australia Fair' and 'Waltzing Matilda' and them answering with songs like 'we will win, all others are §$%&' and such like. But it was fun and we got a big cheer from the passengers when we got off.
Sunday night I watched Brasil play Australia at Korps Süd-West Berlin, and was not impressed by the World Champions. A zwei-null win flattered them.
Monday and I went to Potsdam with Daniela, beautiful gardens, old buildings, and much walking on a warm day. Then dinner with Dani and Uta in an Italian restaurant
Tuesday and Uta took me to Treptower park, a very Russian Memorial to the victims of Fascism and the heros of the soviet union... after that we went to the Korps Berlin-Mitte to watch Deutschland play Ecuador. The local boys had a good win, and I saw that Mitte was very different to Friedenau where I am staying now. Kind of Bohemian... On the way home from there, we started to see the local football fans fill the train. Not only were there 70,000 at the Berlin Olympic Stadion, but perhaps 700,000 on the fan-meile. We would've been swamped if we were any later getting through.
Today was shopping with Dani, and now I should be packing, for tomorrow, I return to Ho Chi Minh city, and thence home, to Melbourne.
However Berlin also feels like home, and one day, I will return here.