You might have heard that there is something like a Soccer World Championship somewhere, well, you may find hints on FIFAworldcup.com.
Recently, a bar named “Sunset Sports Bar” opened very close to my appartment. Just fall out of the south gate, turn right and there you are: A brand new bar, which tries with a couple of flags taped to the ceiling and some pretty fake cups to create something like a sports bar atmosphere. It wouldn’t work on a brand-new bar. It needs a bit of patina for that atmosphere to come up. And that old a Shanghai bar rarely becomes. Never mind, it’s a sports bar, it has beer, burgers, and large video screens, it’s just around the corner, and the staff is very friendly and understands a good bit of English. Hey man, what else could you ever want in Pudong?
I went there with my girl-friend and a befriend couple for the world cup’s opening game. Yeah, right, I remember another detail: The worldcup is hosted by Germany. That’s where I came from long long ago. Just had a 14-day trip there, yet to be described here, though. The bar was crowded, maybe for the first time. They deserve it. I somehow like them. Consider it kind of ‘my’ bar without even having been there before. With luck and a bit of persuasion we got the last high table with good view on the large video screen. We found the burgers on the menu and at least the men didn’t think long…except…there was a burger with cheese on the menu, and another burger with bacon. Oh…I needed at least 10 minutes to convince the nice waitress that I’d really really like a burger with bacon AND cheese, and both of that on just ONE burger! Unbelievable, like from a different star… 😉 We eventually got them, and they were really good! (And the price, I noted later, was also fair: A ‘normal’ burger was 45 RMB, a bacon or cheese burger 50 RMB, so bacon or cheese costed 5 RMB extra, our burger was served for…hm…how much? Right! 55 RMB = 5,50 EUR)
By the way, our Chinese girl-friends went for Pasta Carbonara…also quite good; not so simple to get good creme in China!
The bar filled up more and more. And then there was the opening ceremony in Munich. Maybe you wanna go back to the Germany I page and review what I wrote about leaving out southern Germany during our Germany trip? It is a memorable moment to sit with 50 Chinese and a few scattered Germans in a newly opened crowded Chinese “sports bar” and see that Bavarian opening ceremony: Leather trousers and Dirndls all over, feather hats, traditional bavarian music instruments up to these super-exaggerated very potently looking cow-bells, played by men by swinging them at a place where you would usually think they would have….okok….that’s going a bit far.
I got confused: Who’s hosting the World Cup now? Bavaria? All the Chinese around us must have been confirmed in their believe there’s nothing else than leather trousers and beer in Germany. And even Grönemeyer, so rhythmical his song was, so few he presented Germany to the world. I’ve never thought about our impression to foreigners so much like I do while staying in China. But that was the peak so far…I was glad when the ceremony was finally over (at least no long speeches, good!) and the game could start.
Here our Chinese friends were very fair: They cheered for any good scene, for any goal, no matter which party. And there was a lot to cheer at, the first game was really fun watching, even late at night: The games start in China somewhen between 21:00 and 03:00. I skipped Germany’s second game (I think it was against Poland…?) as it started at 03:00 only. But I happened to have been to the pub anyway on that day with some colleagues just for a beer, seeing Spain against Ukraine (and again the Chinese cheered whenever something cool happened). A few Germans at the next table wanted to make us believe they would come back at 03:00 to see the Germany game. Well…I didn’t check…
For the third game, which started at 21:00 ‘already’, I dropped by alone for a burger and 2 beers to see the second half. Only then I noted how many ‘very’ mixed couples were sitting in the bar. Mixed couples between foreigners and Chinese happen every once in a while. I’m myself part of one. That might open the eyes for seeing more. It’s nearly always a foreign man and a Chinese woman (but there exist exceptions!) When I say ‘very’ mixed couple I mean they also mix ages. What it comes to: An old, not rarely in addition also fat foreigner sits together with a young Chinese lady. Hadn’t expected it, but there were indeed a few ladies–not just the normal waitresses–around who ‘took care’ of the lonely foreigners far away from their home. A ‘just normal’ waitress started talking to me, sitting alone at the bar with my burger and beer. I found a way to mix the information into the talk, that I have a girl-friend. That did not stop the nice smalltalk with the waitress, but made sure that none of the other ladies every looked at me. And i could still largely follow the main event: the soccer game! 😉
Yesterday, when I came back from the subway, I passed by the bar and was caught in surprise that Germany played again according to the chalk board outside the bar listing the events shown today. Oh yeah…the round of 16…against Sweden. And the game started in 15 minutes. Good to have a ‘personal’ bar around. Had to get home first to update a status report, but again returned for 2 beers and the second half. Again many taking-care-ladies, but I could enjoy the game without being disturbed by them, just here and there some smalltalk with the barmen.
I like ‘my’ bar…let’s hope it can survive a bit even beyond the World Cup. I doubt, though…even now during not so interesting games it is already quite empty. What shall happen to the bar if the top-sport event is the 213. Scottish Cricket Cup…?
P.S.: I just see…Formula 1 is coming! 😉
Originally Created: 06/25/2006 05:11:21 PM
Last Edited: 06/25/2006