I resent the World Cup.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean that I find the World Cup corrupt, or that I don’t like soccer, or that it’s undemocratic, or that it misdirects money away from those in need to something so trivial and inconsequential.
It is all those things, of course. But this is not a matter of justice.
This is far more personal.
I’m a Canadian who’s been living in Germany for four years. I joined my colleagues in watching Germany’s first match, against Portugal. I tried to get excited about it. I joined in the cheering at the German goals. I even stuck with the game till the end, even though the screen stopped working and we had to dash to another venue.
So I tried. Not very hard, but at least I didn’t dismiss the entire debacle out of hand.
There’s one problem, though: I’m just not interested. It’s not just the football – it’s something about the German team. But because everyone else is into it – or, at the very least, have a passing interest – I’m left out. Two colleagues – and the person at the BANK – asked me today if I’d be watching the game, as a point of small talk. The colleagues I told the truth to – not interested – and the bank teller I had to lie to! I pretended like I was interested. Even those who aren’t super into football are into this because of culture, not sport.
I don’t think anything in the past – not being able to speak German, looking Asian, etc. – has made me feel as foreign in Germany as I feel now. This is one aspect of German culture that I’m unable to integrate into. I resent the World Cup for making me feel so foreign.
France 0-1 Germany.
[July 4th 2014]