15 April 2007


I attended my first professional soccer (European football) game yesterday. I actually am not much of a sports spectator. I really enjoyed going to soccer and football games and such with friends in high school, but I think it was probably because I knew all of the players, or everyone in the audience, or both. Otherwise, it's not that enjoyable. After a very short period of time, I invariably become bored and restless. And in yesterday's case, my toes also became numb. It was pretty cold outside. Or maybe it was my shoes. But the game was interesting anyway. And we paid 120 rubles. Of course we were staying for the entire game.
Locomotive Stadion was built especially for Russia's favorite team. They are sponsored by a state organization--Russian Railways.

Although we expected the game to be crazy (they frisked all males upon entrance--I was glad to be a girl right then), there wasn't much of a threat, apparently. Even the military that was stationed there to keep fighting and other such activity under control were a bit lax and sat down themselves to enjoy the game. But the metro afterward was another story. From the stadium to the metro entrance, there was a line of military men in uniform, some on horseback. (I don't know where they get such tall horses.) Inside the metro, too, there were some at each station. A lot of good they did, though. We were packed like sardines in the metro and everyone was drunk on victory and perhaps alcohol, too. They celebrated by pounding their fists onto the sides of the metro car with their fists and shouting, cheering, chanting, and other such things. Everyone in my group took a seat but I was standing in the middle of a bunch of mad football fans. Rambunctious boys. Jadyn took a picture for me; several, actually. This is the only one that didn't turn out blurry. Unfortunately, one of the boys I speak of (this one was probably only 11 or 12 years old, maybe) got his middle finger in there. Such lovely, familiar gestures. After I saw the picture, I showed my digital camera to him. "Смотри!" I said, trying to sound Russian (I have been trying that a lot these days...not that I don't love America...). He obediently looked and laughed in response. Oh well. It sort of happy that he at least listened to something that I said in Russian. It's more than my students do!

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