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June 13, 2006

Creeped out

The Czech Republic vs the USA was the first match that I didn't really give my full attention to. For the first half I was in Notos and so still had my laptop on connected to the net, and thus only had half an eye on the footie. I also contrived, with an ill-timed toilet break, to miss the Czech Republic's second goal. I rushed back out, and asked the Greek guys next to me who scored.

Well, "Czechia?" I said. Or "Τζεκιά;", which is how I probably pronounced it in Greek. I have no idea if that is the right word. Anyway, people nodded, and it certainly wasn't the Greek equivalent of "U.S.A.", which I believe on Crete is pronounced as "Please leave Souda, thanks".

Wc5 For the second half of the game I strolled a bit further along the harbour to Ζερος. This is a bar/restaurant next to Galini (where I had watched the Australia - Japan game) which was also advertising it had the football on. I sat down in front of their big screen, but was immediately asked to move to a smaller table since I was on my own. I was a bit annoyed, as they had about 40 people in there maximum, and about 125 spare seats, so I didn't think my single person occupancy of a table for six was going to make a big difference.

Anyway, once I got settled in my new table I was immediately confronted with two further distractions from the game. As the whistle went to start the second-half, a live Greek band kicked in, drowning out the commentary. Then on the table in front of me was an absolute car-crash that I couldn't believe was happening.

At first I thought it was a father and daughter watching the game together, then I thought they were acting a bit oddly, and then eventually I had to come to the conclusion that they were a couple and that he had a rather unhealthy interest in younger girls. She couldn't have been older than 14, he couldn't have been much younger, if at all, than me. Although I kept trying to say to myself I was mis-interpreting the situation, once she started nibbling his ear I couldn't really think anything else. At least the staff seemed to share my opinion of their age difference. When the time came for them to pay their bill they were bought complimentary treats, he got a free beer, and she got...an ice cream with a sparkler sticking out of the top.

I was totally creeped out. Oh, and into the bargain I missed the third Czech Republic goal as well with a second ill-timed toilet break.

Having not paid much attention to the opening Group E match, back at home I was a bit more focussed on Italy versus Ghana. I thought Italy, unusually, made an impressive start to the tournament. Having said that, without the benefit of replays, a subsequent highlights package or any expert analysis, I have to say I thought Ghana had a good shout for the tournament's first penalty turned down just before Italy scored their second goal.

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