And lo we have arrived at the halfway mark.
Much has unfolded over the last few weeks, not the least of which is that wrong number phone call in German when the voice at the other end demanded to fix my unbroken WC. Thankfully that ended with laughter and not a plunger.
What a time it has been to be in Germany. Last Sunday, the new Weltmeister were crowned. I stood in attendance at a local biergarten, watching the celebrations unfold and then perish in about two hours, with not much of a mention of it barely two days later. I contrasted that with what happened when India won the cricket world cup in 2011.
My friend M visited that same weekend. M and I paid Hamburg a short visit, which was infested with bachelorette parties. There seems to be this strange tradition here of wearing a uniform when visiting a city as part of a to-be bride's entourage. Hamburg ended up being a rather charming city, with a lovely river and my favourite attraction - the Miniature Wonderland. To put it mildly, if Sheldon Cooper commits himself to good deeds for the rest of his life, that's where he's going after he dies. Miniature Wonderland amongst other marvels, has the world's largest toy train set. I think I'd refuse to ever leave that place if I was a few years younger. It's hard to explain the place in words, so I'm going to let a couple of pictures do the explaining.
M promptly returned home to England right before the game began, leaving me to quietly support Argentina in a singularly German-supporting crowd. I was careful to wear white - both neutral and also the colour of peace. My bluff was called though because I didn't look as excited as the rest of the jumping crowd when Germany scored that lone goal. I had a lot of explaining to do, part of which was "I'm Indian, we don't really get to play in the world cup, so I'm neutral". I strongly believe that the better team won, though. So I wasn't terribly unhappy and the joy and celebration afterward was rather contagious. So was work the next morning.
In the midst of all this joy and celebration came the news at half time, which served as a stark reminder of all the violence and bloodshed unfolding in Ukraine, Iraq and the Holy Land without the slightest care for whether Messi would end the night on a happy note. Unfortunately, I don't think many around me were in the mood to care. I hope they cared after their hangovers subsided the next morning.
Seriously though, world, what is wrong with your people? What is with this mindless bloodshed? You'd better get your act together before I leave this town. You only have half my stay left.