Tuesday, June 27, 2006

France's great victory

How times have changed. 6 years ago France were in the process of winning the European Championship to add to the World Cup that the won 2 years earlier. Last Friday night they beat Togo 2-0 to qualify in second place from their group, behind Switzerland. The truly amazing thing is what happened afterwards...

My friend Moll was over for a few days, so we decided to stay in Paris on Friday night and watch the match in Kitty O'Sheas. It was his first time around Paris, so he spent the day wandering between the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, Sido came in to meet us and we went for something to eat before the match. Léon de Bruxelles is a very nice place to eat. I recommend it. Not Gril Les Barbares, but still very good. Nice steak.

Anyway, Kitty O'Sheas were absurdly serving beer in plastic cups! It was like being at a concert. Very strange indeed. We arrived too late to get a seat, so we spent the game standing. Or occasionally sitting on the ledge, which I'm not sure is allowed, but no one said anything, so it's ok. France eventually won 2-0 without playing particularly well against a not very good Togo team. So far, perfectly normal. I'm not very used to driving around Paris, so I decided to go the way that I knew - up the Champs Elysées, Ave des Grands Armées and onto the Périph from there at Porte Maillot. However, it took about 30 minutes to get up the Champs Elysées. The place was packed with people going nuts - French flags everywhere, car horns blaring, people dancing in the street. Very strange. And all this over a not terribly convincing victory over a team that they would have wiped the floor with in their prime. It just seemed like such a change from before. If by some miracle they actually win the thing, what on Earth will Paris be like?

Unfortunately, if that happens I won't be around to see it. I'm heading back to Tokyo for a fortnight on Saturday. Hopefully I'll be able to see the World Cup Final in Japan. I missed the last one cos I was on a plane. At least I'll be in a hotel this time around - I'll just have to get up at about 5am.

I made chocolate chip cookies! They were pretty well received and I was asked to make more, so that's positive. I also cooked for the first time since I moved over last night - a little roast featuring potatoes and chicken legs. It wasn't bad at all, actually. The potatoes weren't great, but I know what I did wrong, so hopefully the next try will be better.

Anyway, I'll try and update this thing a little more often, possibly with something on the 'Canes first Stanley Cup or the Heat's first NBA Championship. I didn't get to see any of the finals, so my commentary will be based on that of other people.

Slán libh...