Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Random Bollocks

Ice Hockey Update

A breathtaking weekend in Csikszereda saw the home town heroes crush the Bucharest scum 3-1 on Friday night. This brought the match score to 3-2 and left us one game away from winning the whole thing. Saturday night we could have wrapped it up on home ice (as they say). But sadly, a first half display of epic rubbishness allowed Steaua to open up a 5-0 lead. Heroically, we came back to 5-4 before time ran out and Steaua levelled the match. The final and deciding game is this weekend in Bucharest. We live in hope. [I've gone full-on for bias to counterract the match report at the site I linked to before http://hem.bredband.net/hochei/, which is seriously pro-Steaua. I don't know who Micola Hertza is, but he's not from here, that's for sure]

Footy

Talk of Steaua brings me neatly on to football, and the national swelling of pride that accompanied Steaua's UEFA cup victory over holders Valencia. Now coming from England it's hard to imagine a victory by a team like Steaua being celebrated nationwide, but here it was. One of the TV channels had a banner on all night reading "Bravo Steaua". If ITV had a Bravo Arsenal banner on the screen, much of the country would stop watching it out of protest. Or at least I bloody hope they would. I once remember being in Bursa, Turkey when Trabzonspor beat Lyon (I think) in one of the early rounds of the UEFA or CW Cup. The whole town went nuts. Trabzon must be at least 1000 kms from Bursa. It just wouldn't happen in England. We hate each other and no amount of success for our compatriots makes us happy.

Steaua are managed by Walter Zenga, who seems like a nice bloke, and pleasingly speaks Romanian with a pronounced Italian accent. Pronounced enough that even I can hear it. However the club's president (who I assume is also the president of the Ice Hockey arm of the franchise) is not so nice. Well, he might be nice I suppose, but he doesn't look nice. He looks like the archetype of the Balkan gangster. The kind of bloke who, if he were Serb, would be living in a comfortable mansion in the Republika Srpska, having committed loads of war crimes and having been indicted by the Hague. His name's Gigi Becali, and if you hear of me being kneecapped in the next few weeks you know why.

Party

Spent Saturday night getting wasted on palinka (fruit brandy) and wine in Marosvasarhely, Erika's home town. It was her dad's 65th birthday party, and my first largish family gathering. It was a sizeable test of my Hungarian, and one I didn't exactly pass, but did have fun all the same. Erika's dad always speaks to me in German, which is odd because I don't know any - aside from the German I learned reading Battle and Action comic in the dentist's waiting room as a kid (such eternally useful expressions as Hande Hoche, Achtung Minen, Gott in Himmel, Englischer Shweinhund, and AAAIIIEEEEE!!! - that last one is the sound Germans make when they die).

Other stuff of no real import

I become 39 tomorrow. I really don't know what else to add on that front. Erika is taking me away for a birthday weekend to some surprise destination. All I know is that I have to bring my passport. Could be fun. Subsequently, next week I am going to Athens with Erika, her colleague Zsofi and Zsofi's boyfriend Attila. It's a project meeting to which I am tagging along. Should be a laugh, and will, I believe bring the number of countries I have visited (by which I mean spent at least one night in) up to 47-ish.

You may have noticed one or two changes to the look of this blog. I'm almost ready to give some exciting blog related news, but you may have to wait for one or two more days. So, bear with me.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

'Seriously pro-Steaua'???

You may not be seeing this comment as it is an old post (I've seen it only now), but come on, what is that suppose to mean anyway?
Did you really follow my site other than the 'random' occasion?

Back when I did write reports and news on my site I was in contrary 'pro-Csíkszereda' if anything according to many of my Romanian readers. Although I always tried my best to remain as neutral as possible. A possible reason for that was probably that I had more contacts in Csíkszereda than anywhere else, so basically their news was visible mostly.

Oh well, you simply can't satisfy everyone everytime I guess...

/SK (at) 'brebandshochei'

Andy H said...

Sorry Stefan, you've misread me - not the site that is seriously pro-Steaua, just the report (though oddly I have heard from the writer of it and he's a sport club fan. Go figure :-)

Anonymous said...

Ok, thanks Andy. My mistake.

Yes indeed, the writer is both an SC fan as well as a Csik resident. I think he simply intended to be neutral, maybe it came out wrong at that paricular moment, personally I didn't reflect of it in that way though.

/Stefan