Thursday, November 18

Would you like a side of Freedom Fries with that wine?

Last night Sean and I participated in the honored time old tradition of soccer. England v France to be precise.

Hence tonight's blog title. I may love me some wine, but I don't love me some Frenchies. (tonight's total generalization and stereotyping brought to you courtesy of Quarterlife Quandary)

I got us tickets to go see the match at Wembley Stadium as part of Sean's birthday present.

Having never been to a professional soccer game, I was looking forward to all sorts of shenanigans. Other people didn't seem to share in my enthusiasm though. As I spread word to my classmates that I'd be attending a soccer game that evening, I was met with a lot of lackluster replies. Turns out there is saying here in the UK:

Rugby is a hooligan's sport played by gentleman
Soccer is a gentleman's sport played hooligans.

So apparently last night Sean and I were hooligans, but we were okay with that; it meant there was room for plenty of shenanigans and tomfoolery. (I think I should win some sort of vocabulary prize for being able to use all of those ridiculous words in one sentence). Unfortunately, we did not realize this also meant that no drinking is permitted.


within a mile radius of the stadium.

for real.

We hopped off the train hungry, our throats parched for the quenching taste of a cold pint only to be brutally rebuffed at the first pub we came across. They were shutting down. at 7pm. We didn't understand it so we went to the next one. They, too, turned us away. What the heck guys. This is not cool.

We attempted to rally our spirits and push the thought of tasty, delicious beer to the back of our minds. We didn't need alcohol to have fun. Noooooo. Our love will sustain us.

and then we spotted some guys drinking beers out of cans on the sidewalk. SCORE! Forget the love, we'll always have that. But beer before a sporting event? Now that is what dreams are made of.

We popped into the "off-licence" (convenience store) and grabbed some tasty pints (Stellas in a can. but a big can. bigger than in the US, so that counts for something).

At this point we had our beers, but we still lacked in the food department. We didn't want to eat inside the stadium because they charge ridiculous prices. For a £20 hamburger, you better be serving it with a side of Botox and a little liposuction.

Since all the pubs were closed, our options were severely limited. We opted for a greasy burger joint that had a line out the door. except by the time it was our turn they were sold out of pretty much everything. Sean wanted a hamburger. gone. a "chicken burger". gone. fish and chips. gone. Finally he settled on the sausage. Only to find out the man literally just took this giant rod of meat and slapped it on the plate (ohhh stop it. get your minds out of the gutters please). Sean took one look at it and said "no thanks-I'll just stick with chips (french fries)"

You may ask why I'm telling you all these details. Well, it is because they are important. Many of you have expressed envy over my life here in London and while I'm sure you are envisioning leisurely afternoons of tea, red telephone booths and me schmoozing it up with royalty, in reality I'm standing outside a convenience store in the rain chugging beer from a can and eating french fries for dinner. (Mom? Dad? how proud are you? I bet loads)

However, this experience really allowed me to interact with the local culture, the "natives" so to speak. One guy asked me where in the States we were from and when I answered Boston, Massachusetts, he replied "Oh, is that next to California?"

ummmm no. not even close. but thanks for playing, better luck next time.

I had a rousing discussion with this group of gentlemen (actually no, scratch that, they were definitely hooligans) about the British culture's use of the "c word". I know in American culture it is very very very inappropriate to use that word, especially around a woman. I couldn't even bring myself to say it last night. I just kept referring to it as the "c word" and they'd laugh and say "oh you mean c---? C--- is fine!" and laugh even harder. I'm still not sure if they were laughing with me or at me. (I'm pretty sure it was at me.)

The best line I heard all night though? As I was eavesdropping on their conversation (what? how can you not?), Guy A said to Guy B: "You know what I need? A good shag" pause. wait for it. there's more. "with someone I do actually like" bah ha ha ha ha. Maybe I'm just a dirty old lady who takes pleasure in the sadness of others, maybe it's because it was said in a British accent, I don't know but I found this to be hi-freaking-larious.

All in all, it was a fantastic night out in the UK. I'm so glad I got to interact with some different types of people and experience the city in a new way. huddled under an awning in the warm fluorescent glow of the local off-licence.

oh yeah. and the soccer game was fun too. Even though England lost, it didn't really matter to me. I was too busy staring at all the guys in their short little soccer uniforms- Olé! or Pelé! or whatever it is they shout out during soccer games.


Abby B said...

I am sooooo with you on the c word front.
It is such a constant and my #1 pet peeve.
Worst of all, my British friends/house mates find my discomfort amusing and tend to use it more frequently and then quickly add, "Oh, right. Abby hates that word," and then replace their comments with "c word." Ugh, irritating.
But it looks like you had a fun night despite it all!

Lauren's friend!

john evans said...

Hey Ree, As a football (that is soccer-the REAL football), let Sean know that he is so lucky to have a woman in his life that'll take him to Wembley. England, France, who cares? Football is great, and Wembley is almost heaven (I think Old Trafford is actually on the far side 'o the pearly gates). You don't know Old Trafford? Ask sean, he will. Peace and Much Love, Uncle J

Kaley said...

Yes, but don't say fanny because apparently that meaning is quite different from behind.

And they say we Americans know nothing about other people's countries. ;)

southleft said...

Omigod that California line brings back memories. What is it with Europeans and California?


Living on the Spectrum said...

I have so much of my Mom in me, I kept inwardly correcting you whenever you said "soccer". You're in England - it's football. Learn the language!

Rachel Wilkerson said...

HA, love this post! Also, kinda funny -- Eric and I had a long discussion about the C-word this morning. I'll say it when the situation requires it.

Kat said...

Oh, lady. I would have been totally fussed if I was drinking convenience store beer and fries as well. I basically laughed out loud about the burgers in the stadium! Personally, I would expect mine to be dipped in gold.

Way to embrace your inner hooligan!

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