EURO 2012: IT. HAS. BEGUN.

This is an actual journal entry because I’m lazy and I don’t want to write a blog post. So it reads very much like a diary, and it is pretty boring, so fair warning.There is no reason you’d want to read this unless you want to know what the first 4 chaotic days of Euro 2012 were like for an American with a slight interest in soccer. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I haven’t sat down by myself, in clean clothes, in days. We’ve been running around, meeting Kuba’s friends all over Poland – and even venturing into Berlin.

It began on Friday, when Kuba woke up at 5:30 am, unable to sleep due to the excitement of the Euros starting that evening. We were due to meet his friend Ben and watch the Russia/Czech Republic game in Wroclaw. He left to make himself useful (and scarce, for I was still trying to sleep) around 7 or 8 for the bakery.

We left the apartment around 11 to head to the train station Starbucks. Our train left around 12:45 for Wroclaw. We played around online for a bit and then got on the packed Polish train. Lots of countryside.

We got to Wroclaw, met Ben, watched the Poland/Greece game in the fan zone, and then during the second half it started pouring. We stayed under tents, missing much of the rest of the game, and then ran, in the rain, to the stadium. Since we’ve been running lately, I’ve had some pain in my shins and was enjoying my rest day and trying to let my legs heal a bit. No such luck. It hurt, but we ran about a mile, through the rain, through fans, through Wroclaw, to the stadium. I froze for the Russia game, but it was all good fun nonetheless.

We decided to go back to Berlin with Ben to visit and watch soccer. We made a wrong turn and followed the GPS despite our common sense, so instead of it taking 2 hours, it took about 5. We left at midnight, and walked into the apartment around 5:30 to sleep until 11.

We spent Saturday with Ben and his wife Claire, attending a sixth division soccer game (Tennis Borussia), and then we headed to the fan mile to watch Germany/Portugal. I was exhausted by this point, so it was hard to stay excited for the game. We had to hop on a train to Warsaw early on Sunday morning, and I was so sick of beer and soccer for the day. We made it home around 11:30 and slept. We got up the next morning, reluctantly, dressed and packed and were out of the door in 30 minutes.

I cannot remember that train ride, or how long it took. But it was Berlin to Warsaw. So probably more than 5 hours. I have no recollection.

We got to Warsaw at 4:05 I think. Kuba had to pick up his friend Olin at the airport at 5:45, and we were starving, so we went into the mall by the train station to eat. We had KFC, and it was delicious. Don’t even try to judge me for 1) eating KFC and 2) eating KFC in Poland, because I don’t care. That’s how good it was.

We headed toward the apartment where his friends from Milwaukee were staying, going the wrong way twice. We finally got to their apartment at 5:15, and Kuba left immediately to get Olin. I took a shower and then hung out for a bit. We left at 6 to go to the fan zone and watch Spain/Italy. I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t even drink beer to feel warmer. It started raining again, and I was wearing clothes that had been soaked on Friday. We only packed one extra shirt each, and I brought a pair of jeans, luckily, but we were stinky. It sprinkled the entire first half, rained at the end of it, stopped raining during half time, and poured during the second half. We went back to Jim and Colin’s (1 block away, thank goodness), changed (kind of), and headed to a nearby bar to watch Ireland/Croatia. It was pretty boring, but I got to eat some pasta (Kuba and I shared a bowl of $5 (17 PLN) pasta because we’re poor), so that was good.

There was more beer drinking at the apartment. I wanted to be done, but I was handed a beer, so I drank slowly while Jim and Colin used their iPhone beer counter apps to make it to 24 beers within 21 hours of being in Poland.

The next morning we got coffee and then a delicious rose jam donut and met the girl whose apartment we were using. We then walked about 16 miles to the Warsaw stadium, while Jim, Colin, Olin and Kuba looked at it in awe. We stopped by the war museum to see the planes and went back to the apartment. Luckily, our train left at 2:40 so we didn’t have to stay around all day doing guy stuff. 🙂

It was a long, boring, freezing cold train ride. I let Olin sit with Kuba and I sat by some weird old guy who was super fidgety. We got to Poznan a little after 6 and went to The Dubliner to watch England/France with the rest of Poznan’s Irish. Finally, we headed back to our apartment in Poznan. The boys went on to the grocery store for beer, and I came into the apartment. Once they got back, I made pasta and sauce while they watched Ukraine/Sweden. We ate before halftime and I read my book on my bed while they watched TV next to me. I was exhausted.

We woke up around 9. I had Cheerios and coffee and read a bit of Slam while they took showers. They left for the grocery store, yet again, and to see the stadium. I took a shower, did more laundry, and put on makeup and clean clothes. They came home around 11 and I started writing in my journal. Now Kuba is lying next to me and my stomach is growling. I’m going to get some food and prepare myself for the chaos that will be the Poland/Russia game. They killed the Czechs 4-1, so everyone’s a bit nervous. We’re going to the fan zone to watch. I’m reserving all of my energy until then.

*The next day, I woke up with a terrible cold. I know, it’s shocking. This provided me an excuse to stay in my warm bed for 2 days while the boys watched soccer in the rain. I still have the cold, 5 days later…