There's nothing like a bit of football to set a competitive atmosphere in the air. I'm sure you are aware (but are perhaps trying to avoid the fact) that it is Euro cup time. Rather surprisingly, England have made it through their group stage, which I had the pleasure of watching in a foreign country whilst sipping cocktails and basking in the sun!
Our resort was pretty much a 50:50 German:English split, and I was therefore quite relieved that Germany wasn't in our qualifying group. Particularly as there were a number of wedding parties in our resort getting in the party spirit. To put this into context, on the night of one of the weddings the party in question was fined £300 for throwing a waiter in the pool, who had his revenge by pushing a member of the party down the stairs...
The first matches (both Germany and England) went without issue, with a relaxed and subdued atmosphere. The trouble came with the England vs Sweden match. Having not realised that there were Swedish people in the resort, we were surprised to find half of the fans watching the match were supporting the opposite team.
As ever, I always manage to sit next to the lunatic, and without fail the Swedish party next to us had one particularly loud and brash team member. He was chanting throughout, banging his feet, and shouting 'Johnny Depp' whenever one of the England players were fouled. Half-time couldn't come soon enough and in typical British style there was a very tense atmosphere.
The one thing that struck me as particularly hilarious was the ignorance of us British. Because the Swedish fans had cheered their team on in Swedish, and the only British words spoken were 'Johnny Depp' and 'Hollywood', it was assumed that they couldn't speak English. British fans around us therefore openly made comments about the group, and the over-enthusiastic fan in particular, assuming that they weren't able to understand what they were saying.
Luckily over the second half of the game, a couple sitting nearest to the Swedish fan made a joke of the situation, joining in and shouting other film characters ranging from Jedi warriors to ET. The second half passed without problem and luckily for us all England won.
The best comeuppance that the Swedish group had was after the match, when they invited all the England fans to come and have a celebratory drink at the bar with them - in perfect English.
In the UK we are often seen as a global business centre - business meetings between different countries are frequently conducted in English, whilst the majority of our population can only speak their native tongue. Yet we fail to notice this as our downfall, instead projecting this ignorance onto those around us.
It is more than likely that England will be knocked out of the quarter-finals (and indeed have been knocked out since the writing of this blog, a good prediction!), as their efforts have been somewhat lacking so far in my opinion. But hopefully at least a few Brits returned from their holidays feeling a little less superior, despite the football win.