Monday, October 22, 2007

This past Saturday was the first Old Firm match of the season and as such, Glasgow braced itself for possible ensuing antics. As Paul and I headed downstairs to watch the game (I live three floors above a nice wee pub that shows all Scottish Premier League Games), I noticed that the streets seemed more quite than usual. That might have been due to the fact, however, that it was 12.30pm on a Saturday afternoon and folks may have still been in bed. In the pub, it was a nice mix of families enjoying lunch, solitary old men, and your random Celtic/Rangers fan. A totally laid-back environment, offsetting the high-tension game.

Now, I don't know a lot about football (soccer) but with Scotland gearing up to battle Italy for a spot in Euro 2008, I've become a lot more interested. As well, Paul is absolutely mad about Celtic so I can't help but absorb random facts about football, piquing my interest. I still have yet, however, to understand what the fuck offside is. All in all, I'm beginning to actually kinda dig football - apart from the dramatics that some players pull, rolling around on the pitch in agony after receiving a light touch from another player. I'm used to hockey where either the gloves come off and players duke it out or players just get back up and go.

Like I said, I don't know much about football. Half way through the Old Firm match, however, I kept wondering if I was missing something as a "newbie" to football: why was the referee calling so many penalties against Celtic and none against Rangers? Maybe I'm slightly biased (and will be the first to admit so) but I just didn't see why Celtic had so many penalties called and Ranger players only seemed to receive scolding. It reminded me of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City when Canada was battling USA for the gold medal in hockey and Canada received penalty after penalty after penalty - some being justified, many more were questionable. Whatever. Canada went on to win anyway.

Actually, it reminds me of the 2002 Olympic figure skating controversy between the Canadian and Russian pairs. I remember watching both pairs perform and when it was announced that the Russians had won (despite falling numerous times), my roommate and I couldn't believe it. I mean, who ever gets to actually witness corrupted judges/thrown competitions with their own eyes?!

Nevertheless, Celtic went on to lose and midway through the second half, Paul barked, "lets go". (I always hate it when Celtic lose; not because I am a rabid fan but because it means that my boyfriend will be grumpy for the 45 minutes afterwards).

As we walked to Marks and Spencers in the sunny posh west end (usually free of random sectarian violence), Paul and I happened to pass some scraggly-face ned, who sorta looked like Chet Baker (the 1980s junkie one), and was wearing a Rangers scarf. Just as Paul passed him - I was straggling a wee bit behind - the Chet Baker look-a-like said: "Wha' tha fuck you looking at, yae fuckin' prick!"

Obviously a rhetorical question.

Paul, knowing better, just kept on walking. I, however, couldn't help but say something back because shit, you just can't walk around and talk shit to my boyfriend - especially when he's feeling down in the dumps.

And so, my knee-jerk reaction was to yell at him: "UP YOURS!"

Ugh, I am so middle-class.

The Chet Baker doppelganger just kept on walking. Thankfully.

To add insult to injury, after getting our groceries from M&S and walking back to the flat, we stumbled on to the smallest Orange Parade there ever was. Of course, I had stop and take a picture with my mobile - much to the annoyance of Paul. Whatever. These things are still so foreign to me that I'm still perplexed by it all.

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