Creepy Quiet

It’s about 9:30 on Saturday night right now, and normally at this time it’s pretty noisy outside. It’s still very light outside, which means that the park across the street is usually hoppin’ until it gets too dark to play their favorite game, “scream.” Even after the kids and stroller-pushing moms leave, the park is still a popular hangout for pre-parties and drinking shenanigans. Besides those noises, I hear a fair amount of traffic, the tram running, and people out for their evening strolls. But not today.

It is so quiet outside it’s freaky. I hear the occasional car, and the tram every ten minutes. I hear birds. And that’s about it. We’re almost to half-time of Germany’s first match in the EuroCup, and apparently all the usual noise-making suspects are glued to a TV somewhere.

The students that live in the building behind me started the party earlier this afternoon, and they let me know when Denmark scored against the Netherlands. Germany and the Netherlands have a pretty solid rivalry, so that goal got a big cheer from the partiers. I was doing dishes at the time, so thanks kids, for keeping me informed. But I think they have long since abandoned the party at home in favor of another venue. 

As for this game, there have been a few close calls, and when those happened I heard a dull roar coming from a nearby restaurant. Also I can just hear an announcer, but I don’t know where that’s coming from. My students mentioned public viewings in the city, so maybe that’s where it’s coming from. But other than that… silence. It’s pretty weird. The good news is that even if I didn’t have the game on, I’d know when there was a score.

Ooops, spoke too soon. There goes a horn. Halftime!   

Edited to add:

10:17p.m. 

Silence broken by cheers, screams and horns echoing from all directions for the first goal! 

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4 thoughts on “Creepy Quiet

  1. The downside of all the nice game-time quiet is the post-match horn honking into the early hours, though even with the Germany game the other night we were surprised at how quiet it was afterwards. Win-win!

  2. I saw the tail end of the Netherlands-Denmark game *in Amsterdam.* It was crazypants- people standing crowded around bars that were too small for the number of spectators, and the orange outfits- I've never seen so much orange clothing in all my life. There will be pictures in an upcoming post, naturally.

    As a contrast, I caught the last ten minutes or so of the Germany game from a tiny bar about a half kilometer away from the first match, and it was much more chill. I'm kind of enjoying the soccer stuff.

  3. @Fiona: Quiet would have been nice afterwards. Instead I got parading, “woo-ing” and cars driving in circles around the neighborhood honking. Party over here!

    @Sara Louise: Right? Normally a German flag sighting is kind of rare, so it's crazy to see balconies draped in them. We got into a long discussion about this in one of my lessons, and it was the first time a student has expressed frustration with the fact that it's looked down on to be “patriotic.” It's like any time the flag comes out people start going, “oh, those Germans… getting ideas again…” Which is obviously not the case. It's just football.

    @Steven: That would have been fun to see! I saw a Dutch couple here in the city last week and they were all decked out already. I also heard about pictures online of a whole city papered in orange. Even the street signs were covered and they had written on the street names in pencil… too funny.

    All the bars/cafes here have their TVs out, but the real event is the big public viewing in the Wöhrder Wiese. I'd like to go, but none of my friends seem particularly interested in it. Feel a bit like a weirdo going by myself for anthropological research. Haha.

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