Friday, July 21, 2006

Lucky Me

You may be wondering what I did for World Cup action after Italy knocked Germany out of the World Cup. At the time, I was wondering what I was going to do myself.

Fortunately, luck was on my side as France made it into the finals. Why was this lucky? Because my German friends, Uwe and Sabine, are rather well acquainted with Theo, who is an American that until recently was working at the English language newspaper The Yemen Observer.

You see, Theo knows one of the French gendarmes and as it turns out, the French ambassador had set up a pavilion for the French citizens and invited guests to watch the match at his house. Now Uwe, Sabine, Theo, and I are neither French citizens nor were we invited guests but I guess it pays to know people as once we arrived at the ambassador's house, Theo called the gendarme on his cell phone and he came and escorted us inside.

I was especially excited as there was no doubt in my mind that I would finally be able to score some red wine. I mean hey, C'mon, this is the French ambassador's house I'm talking about. But no, either the French ambassador isn't a big wine fan or he just couldn't get any. There was gin and whiskey aplenty, but that was poor consolation as I really had my heart set on some red wine.

Speaking of the France and the World Cup, the Yemeni children seem to think it's extremely amusing to call me Zidane when I walk in the streets now. I concede the fact that he and I share the same haircut, but that's where the resemblance ends as I'm much better looking than him. If you're not familiar with who Zidane is, just type his name into your favorite search engine.

A few days before the World Cup final I attended an exhibit for a Yemeni artist at the German Cultural Center (where Uwe works). I was very impressed and ended up buying one of the paintings. Now I just hope I can get it home in one piece. I thought it would be better than dropping several hundred bucks on a jambiya that I'd never wear once I returned to the states; although, I've bought a jambiya too, just not an expensive one. The nice thing about Yemeni jambiyas is that the untrained eye can't tell the difference between an old, expensive jambiya with a lot of history behind it and a brand new jambiya made to look old.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Beer, Bacon, and the World Cup

Last night was about as good as it gets here in Yemen I believe. One of the German students, Sabina, suggested that we watch the Germany-Argentina quarter-final match at the German Embassy, so yesterday evening I headed off with Sabina, Uwe, and Jenny to the German Embassy.

It promised to be a night to remember and we weren't disappointed. Not only did Germany defeat Argentina to make it into the semi-finals of the World Cup (I'm a big fan of Juergen Klinsmann and the German national team), the German Embassy was providing free beer/white wine along with pizza and some other snacks! It was like I had died and gone to heaven.

I didn't think life could get any better than that until Uwe asked if I wanted to continue the party at the British Club. Now, English Tom had invited me to the British club several times before he left but I always declined as I felt too busy each time he had asked. If I had only known I would have accepted every time. Although the beer at the British club wasn't as good as the beer at the German Embassy, they did have one thing the German Embassy did not; that thing being a BACON, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich.

Mmmmnnn.... bacon. It was good. No, it was very good. Even after eating the pizza at the German Embassy I ate two BLTs at the British club. Couple this with going to Al-Fanous(sp?) and discovering that they actually served steak capped off a rather pleasant week. Let's face it... Yemen is a dangerous and uncertain place. A few days of beer and pizza are about as good as it gets.