I snuck out last night to watch the World Cup. The longer it lasted the more I could put off driving back along the long and windy road in the dark to the Greek Hovel. And even worse, to getting out of the car, walking ten yards through the grass to the Greek Hovel wondering what wildlife was lurking in the grass or inside the hovel. As it happens it was a wildlife free experience. Even Mr Rat seems to have “taken his medicine” and disappeared.
The taverna was packed and it soon became clear that I was the only person not supporting the Argies. As the Argies “scored” the taverna rose as one. As the linesman raised his flag for offside one fist punched the air. It was then that the dirty looks started.
How I wished I spoke Greek and could have explained that I too loathe the krauts but that the Argies are for Falkland’s related reasons even worse. But I spoke no Greek and so the loud cheers and increasingly timid punches from me continued. And then the Belgrano moment…The Argies sunk by a sub. The Taverna was not happy. I was rather hoping that it would go to penalties so postponing my encounter with wildlife diversity back at the hovel but on balance was delighted.
Watching Germans celebrate and Angela Merkel smile and clap with joy caused me no great pleasure but by this time I was getting truly filthy looks from one man in particular. And so I broke the silence and via an interpreter explained how I had no love for Germany either. He then spoke in English and started with the war and how the Germans killed lots of Greeks (true), stole their gold (probably true but not unique to Greece) and did not return it and how Greece’s economic woes are all down to the EU and Germany in particular.
Hmmmm, my Great Uncle died fighting the Germans. I did not mention that. Nor did I mention the fate of almost the entire family of two of my daughter’s godparents (i.e. Auschwitz). It was Greece’s call to join the Euro and to stay in. Greece received vast amounts of cash from the EU and pissed it away/allowed rich men to steal it. It is a particular facet of the Greek personality that the woes of this country are everybody’s fault but their own. But these were points I did not fancy tackling with the old man and the other 45 people in the taverna. I agreed that the Germans are ghastly but mentioned the Falklands. To their credit the entire table appreciated this point and accepted that the Argies were pretty frightful too.
Next time Germany is playing football I shall naturally be cheering on whoever they are playing if I am at the Kambos taverna. Unless it is Argentina of course.