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October 11, 2006

Watching Scotland and Wales (but not England) in Salzburg

Shamrock During the last round of Euro2008 qualifiers I got to watch England on the equivalent of internet CEEFAX in the Notos internet cafe. This time on Saturday I still didn't get to see England, but at least in the shape of The Shamrock I found a pub in Salzburg that had Sky Sports. That meant I at least got to see Wales versus Slovakia and Scotland versus France.

I'm sure most Welsh people will already have wanted to forget the 5-1 hammering dished out to them by Slovakia. Especially goalkeeper Paul Jones who on his 50th cap effectively asked for trouble by having a ridiculous dragon shaved into his hair, and then made a horrendous mistake for Slovakia's second goal. And their third. And their fourth.

The Shamrock is blessed with a very special barman. The second time I went to the bar I asked for a beer and a coffee and his reply was a barked: "No. You're in an Irish bar. You drink alcohol". It was an instruction rather than an observation. He also just barked out "What the f*#%'s that?" at a couple of teenage girls who walked in with butterflies painted on their faces.

After several beers and Scotland's heroic victory against France, smarting from England's 0-0 draw with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, I distinguished myself by blathering on at great length about how the Scots still wouldn't qualify from that group, and generally pissed on the fireworks of a load of very nice Scottish people who graciously tolerated my English arrogance, whilst Claire tried to smooth things over behind my back.

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