So, somewhere in my crazy social agenda (note the sarcasm) I found the time to experience one of England's most beloved sports...football. No, not American football, the football watched in all the rest of the world...soccer.
Now let me just say that choosing a football team to root for in England is sort of like choosing which political party you're going to vote for...and everyone will try to get you to root for 'their' team. Just in the area where I live there are 3 major teams that are followed: Liverpool, Manchester United, and Everton. Everton is kind of the under-dog, if you will. One of the guys from work had a spare ticket, so I joined him and his friends for a game on a Thursday night for the Everton v. Chelsea game.
We meet at a pub, of course, for some beers. Then we drive closer to the stadium and stop at a pub, of course, for some more beers. And on to the stadium from there. Once we arrive at the stadium, one of the guys meets me out front with a pink Everton hat and scarf (an effort to 'woo' me as a fan). I have to admit, it's working a little bit:) So after saying thank you, I proceed to enter the stadium, expecting to head straight for the beer stand (it had been >5 min since we'd had a beer).
Now, maybe this is stereotypical, but I expected football to be the apex of drinking in England. Turns out, you can't drink in the stands:( What the f___? Fine enough, less trips to the toilet. But, the game was great...I learned all sorts of new words that I can't repeat anywhere other than a football stadium. But it was great...Everton plays in a relatively small stadium in Liverpool, reminds me of Wrigley Field. Both teams have little songs and chants that they yell. Oddly enough, you can't even really see the timer or scoreboard from most seats -- in the US it seems they post this info all over a stadium.
Unfortunately, Everton lost, and Chelsea went on to the quarter-finals...but I really enjoyed the game. In typical Susan fashion, of course, I tripped and landed flat on my face outside of the stadium. Awesome. England 1, Susan 0. Some things, like my clumsiness, will never change! I swear it wasn't the beer!
This week's language tip is regarding saying goodbye over the phone. In the US, we would say a simple 'goodbye', 'talk to you later', or just 'later'. Normal tone, emphasis, etc. Here, they say the word 'bye' in a higher pitch, almost like a question and they proceed to repeat it up to 3-4 times. It is as if they are having a game to see who can say 'bye' last when hanging up the phone. This is a game that I have yet to win. Very strange, isn't it?