Sunday, October 2, 2022

If the Handschuhe Fits...

We came, we saw, we walked away happy.  That's pretty much all you can ask for when attending a German sporting event.

Greetings once again from Leipzig, home today to gorgeous conditions--51 degrees, winds, and rain.  Even though the gales of November came waaaay too early today, nothing could stop us from the one main reason we undertook this trip, to attend the Bundesliga Matchday 8 game between RB Leipzig and Vfl Bochum.  Leipzig's been a team that's underperformed this year, while Bochum is off to the second worst start in Bundesliga history.  Both teams recently fired their coaches, so in a situation like this you never know what might happen.

Thankfully the end result wasn't even close.

The match itself didn't start until 3:30 (9:30 Saturday morning back home) so we crossed a few more things off the list.  The first was a visit to Leipzig's Holocaust memorial--

The memorial is a rather interesting piece of conceptual art--140 empty chairs laid out to represent the 14,000 Leipzig residents who died during the Nazi era.  It's very sobering, even more so when viewed in the rain.  And it's a reminder that, unlike some countries, Germany tries to make sure its people know what happened in its past, to learn from its mistakes in hopes that they're never repeated.

Because it was so unnaturally cold today we also decided that it might be prudent to see if we could find some gloves somewhere.  And that leads me to our German lesson for today.  One of the more interesting things about the language is that it has compound words--you stick two words, each with a different meaning, together to form a third word that ties into the meaning of the two original words.  For instance, "ein" is the word for one, while "horn" is the word for, well, horn.

And that's why the German word for unicorn is "einhorn".

That same principle is used when talking about gloves, the object of our shopping trip this morning.  The German word for glove is "handschuhe", another compound word.  The "hand" part is self-explanatory, while "schuhe" is the German word for "shoe".

That's right.  The German word for "glove" literally translates as "hand shoe".  German is a wacky, wacky language.

Once properly gloved up, we went back out into the wind and the rain and onto our preferred mode of transport around here-

Picture taken yesterday when it wasn't raining

Where we joined a growing queue outside the stadium waiting to get in-

Once in through all the gates & concourses, we saw one of Loraine's holy places right before us-

Because we wanted to soak in the whole experience, we were some of the first people inside, soon to be joined by around 30,000 of our closest friends (they sold 44,000 tickets, but because of the weather parts of the place were half empty).  Right before the match they do this big thing to pump up the crowd--they play the club's theme song and everyone waves their scarves in the air-

I couldn't bring my big camera (with a nice zoom) into the stadium, so I don't have a lot of game pictures, save this one I took with my phone right at the start of the match-

As I mentioned earlier, the game itself wasn't even close.  Timo Werner scored two goals for Leipzig, as did the player whose jersey I donned for the match, Christopher Nkunku.  He could have--should have--had a hat trick, but he missed a penalty shot.  And if you've ever wanted to feel the emotion of a game, from the excitement right before he gets set to shoot to the letdown when the crowd realizes he missed, here's first hand video-

So while the final score could have been a lot worse, at the whistle it was RB Leipzig 4, VFL Bochum 0.  Happy to a person, the crowd streamed out-

And we joined a couple of thousand fellow fans who walked the two kilometers back to this part of Leipzig, happy with two things-- the final result.

And the fact that the rain finally stopped falling while we were at the stadium enjoying the victory.


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