Monday, March 05, 2007
Coming home, Lyon, and an "A German, An English and A Turk" Joke of Another Kind
After 6 days of skiing (9:30 -17:30), sleeping (18:00-20:00), eating tremendous food (20:00-22:00) and sleeping again (22:00-09:30) on the Three Valleys, visiting Lyon and meeting my old friend Saba (a.k.a Sabo, Sabatini Jabar, Sabahattin Dizdar) and watching the Galatasaray derby and celebrating I came back home to Berlin yesterday night. Overall, I can say it was the best skiing vacation I've ever been to. The snow was excellent, the slopes were challenging, my skis were in great shape, the Savoyarde food (the food from Savoy Region, where the Three Valleys is located) was simply masterpiece-grade, Besiktas won, Lyon was beautiful under the early spring weather, and for those worried friends like Umut (a.ka. Imit) I was not injured... Apart from the unpleasant experience of smelling the foul odor coming from my fridge which I forgot to empty out before leaving, everything has been great. I will post a day-by-day summary of my vacation in the coming days. Until then, I uploaded few pics from Lyon on my flickr.
I have to comment on the Galatasaray derby, cause it's been the topping on the cake. I spend my afternoon in Lyon looking for a Turkish Tea House, where I could watch the game. Fortunately the technique of following the sweet smell of döner and asking the owner did not fail me again (Up to now I watched Besiktas games in Lyon, Nürnberg, Berlin, Hong Kong, Houston, New York, Atlanta, Austin). Overall it was a really entertaining derby. The quality of football was not all that great, still much better than our recent games with Galatasaray, but both sides found plenty of opportunities. We did not start the game very well, our middle field was put under pressure by the Galatasaray midfielders, and we failed to create the attacking variations of Ricardinho and Delgado we had gotten used to. Still with a perfect cross from Ricardinho which met Bobo's perfect header, we were able to catch Galatasaray defense off guard and score on the 34th minute. The last 10 minutes of the first half we stormed the Galatasaray goal but failed to score. Then the second half got underway, our sickness of trying to keep the score and a more motivated Galatasaray combined to give them few chances. Had Necati been a little more mentally prepared, they could have easily gone in front. What Necati could not deliver, we delivered to them on a silver plate, through a typical defensive mistake of not marking the headers during a corner and it was 1-1 on 64th minute. A boring game took a turn after this point. Tigana showed his bold side and put two attacking midfielders (1 actually, because one of those, Ibrahim Akin is not a football player, but more of a untalented juggler) on the field. Erik Gerets on the other side failed to sub Mehmet, the guy who lost most of the balls on Galatasaray side. This mistake cost them deeply, as Mehmet stretched his arm stupidly during a corner, and caused a certain penalty. Ricardinho, who had missed a penalty 3 days ago on a cup game, walked to the ball and scored a nearly perfect penalty, which sent the supporters in the stadium and in front of the TV into a frenzy. I do not remember the last 10 minutes like the supporters. After loosing an important away game 3-2 after leading 2-0 at the halftime at Trabzon last week, we needed this victory. The fans were so delighted that they leave the stadium 1 hour late, singing chants...
Here is a clip from the game itself:
and of the fans:
Lastly, I want to recite a great book review I read on weekend edition of Financial Times. Mario Pisani reviewed The Meaning of Life my Terry Eagleton, a book that discusses the core question of philosophy. In his book Eagleton spends most of his time defining the term "meaning", or setting the question itself first. Pisani went and asked 3 people the same question to 3 different people of different nationalities, which reminded me the boring "A X, A Y and a Turk"jokes, X and Y being from the set "French, German, English, Japanese, American", so popular in Turkey... But this time it made ma smile...
What is the meaning of life?
The English: It doesn't have one.
The German: It is being happy.
The Turk: What is "meaning" my brother?
So typically Turkish, yet that was what Eagleton tried to answer in the first place...