Nothing says summer in Hamburg more than sitting in a “Kneipe” (tiny bar) watching Sankt Pauli play soccer with a Schleswig-Holsteinwurst in one hand and an Astra in the other. During my last visit to Germany, Jan and his father took me to a bar across the street from the Sankt Pauli stadium called “Knust”. Not only was the game an entertaining sight, but the crowd it attracted was quite a show. Most of the Knust activities were outside where people were drinking, eating, and chatting, kind of like a tailgating party. Just before the game began, Jan, his father, and I secured ourselves a seat inside the bar where the air was heavy and humid, only to intensify as more and more people filled the tiny pub. Thanks to management we had great seats to watch the game. Rather than tables and stools, the bar had brought in long wooden benches for seating, and replaced their flat screen TV with a large projection screen from which the game was to be watched on.
Even though I was more of an American football fan, I gave soccer a fair chance, and ended up liking it a bit more than my favorite past time! The game seems more fast paced the American football because there are hardly any time outs, penalties are not reviewed, and there are no commercials until half time which means 45 minutes of non-stop fun!
On this day, Sankt Pauli played against Alemannia Aachen for a coveted spot in the second Bundesliege. However, during the game, one of the Sankt Pauli players, Marius Ebbers, broke his arm in a most unusual way. I might not have understood all of the German slang words and colloquial phrases that visitors of Knust were shouting, but I did understand what everyone meant when that loud gasp followed by “OOOOOOO” swept over the crowd. Pain, I believe, is the same in every language.