WM = Weltmeisterschaft, the long German word for World Cup.
So...Fußball craziness is in full swing, both the US and Germany have made it into the next round, which I'm sure many of you know as well. It would be interesting to compare how it's being covered in the US, and a comparison of the fan culture would probably be the most interesting. :) Everyone is going CRAZY for soccer here, and the atmosphere is really fun and energetic, especially when Germany is playing, but Berlin also has so many immigrants from all over, each little bar has its own Greece or Turkey flag next to the German one.
We ended up watching the game at a semi-sketchy but totally fun little locale last night...improv outside a Getränkemarkt (a shop where you can buy beverages, alcoholic and non, in bulk) in Kreuzberg. Really interesting crowd, a mix of people probably nowhere to be found but in Kreuzberg, Berlin. The owners of the shop just set up a flatscreen TV outside and a few benches, and a crowd of maybe 40-50 people gathered around. We brought down some chairs from a friend's apt, other people sat on stacked beer crates or stood. Some people (like us) maybe didn't have a TV, but I think most people just wanted to be outdoors in public watching the game. Better atmosphere. You couldn't find a spot at ANY café or Biergarten or anything...we tried. :)
Earlier in the day we watched the US game at a bar/Biergarten along the Spree, where they made a beach and also set up a huge screen. (But the phenomenon of the Strandbar is maybe another topic.) Well, "watched" the US game doesn't really do it...the German channel was actually only showing the England game...and so we only got to watch the goal in replay at the end. :( We were a nice little group of about 6-7 Americans.
The display of patriotism is pretty extreme here, especially for Germans who usually NEVER wave flags or sing the anthem (although I haven't heard the anthem yet). Obnoxious black-red-gold outfits, tacky car-flags, unrestrained horn-blowing and screaming...I only expect it to escalate into obscenity if/when Germany progresses. The huge thing is the vuvuzela, this simple horn thing which I guess is popular in South Africa, and which is now for sale at every 1€ store).
i wish you could see this girl's outfit: black dress with red dress underneath, yellow tights...classy, really classy :)