Friday, 17 November 2006

Wednesday night soccer adventures in Europe

JK: Contrary to popular belief, it has not been one continuous wild party since "the wife" departed for Rwanda. In fact, week one sans Mélanie was marked by life spent mostly in solitary confinement, as I worked on some PhD deadlines.

But in an attempt not to completely lose my sense of humanity, I agreed to join a posse on a kamikaze Brussels-Paris-Brussels-in-one-night trip to see France and Greece play a soccer friendly. How is that for footballing dedication? Going all the way to France to see a meaningless game and -- quite predictably -- watch another totally mediocre Hellenic performance.

Still, the experience was fun. I drove down with two Gaulic supporters, my mates Fabrice and Frederic (aka together known as "Fabric"). We met Dénis "the soccer nazi" Trigylidas and two of Fabrice's connections at the stadium.

The Stade de France is a joy to behold; a beautiful stadium with a saucer-like roof. Its only shortcoming is its location, in the heart of "le 93", the notorious banlieu of St-Denis (where some of the worst riots occured last year). On the walk back to our car, I noticed three fresh piles of broken glass -- on our street alone! Fortunately, our, uh, uber-chic white Peugeot was not a target.

Here are some pics from the match.

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