My husband invited me to a soccer game. I accepted, because I hadn’t been out on a date in ages, and this promised to be fun. My husband’s friend Jean had given him two tickets, and since the last time he’d gotten tickets it had been for swanky box seats complete with gourmet dinner, we were excited about going back to the huge Parc de Prince stadium and getting some well-deserved VIP treatment.
Luckily, I didn’t listen to my first instinct and put on high heels. We parked our car, and got the courtesy car to the stadium (so far so good…) and then things went south. We flashed our tickets at the VIP entrance and were told to go to the other side of the stadium to the “E” or “F” door. We looked up. The VIP entry was “V”. We hiked around the alphabet doors (the stadium is big) and found “E”. Where was the red carpet? I looked at the iron fencing, the turnstile, the cement staircase and shivered. We flashed our tickets again, went through the security check, and then found ourselves in the stadium. We went up two flights to stairs to our seats, and saw some fast-food stands. We grabbed a hamburger and coke, and a bag of m&ms and made our way to our seats. No gourmet dinner tonight. Instead, I got a greasy hamburger wrapped in wax paper. The seats were very small, and not very comfortable, but we had a great view of the field – and there were flags for each seat! I had a flag! A Paris Saint Germain football team flag!
I stuffed my hamburger down my throat, too excited about waving my flag to think about eating daintily. Then I chugged down my coke, shoved the m&m’s in my pocket (a move I would later regret…) and grabbed my flag. It was big. It was red and blue. It waved wonderfully – and then the teams came out and I jumped up and down a bit (it was chilly).
The game was good – Nice vs Paris St Germain. Nice was heartily booed (normal proceedings according to my husband), Paris loudly cheered (by me too – until I was hoarse). The final score 2 – 2. We cheered, jeered, and had a great time. I filmed twice, once as the game was about to start, and then once during the game – the fans chanted and sang the whole game – it so happens at the moment I filmed this, the Paris fans were singing “The Niçoises are Pansies”, but I couldn’t understand a thing they were saying anyhow.
Then we climbed back down to street level and set off to find out courtesy car pick-up point. We had a hike – all around the stadium the police shut down the streets, so there wasn’t any traffic – but we were directed away from the stadium at one point, and couldn’t get back. The police were making everyone walk away from the game (and our pick-up point). We wandered for a while, about two blocks from the stadium, getting lost, until Stef saw one of the courtesy cars at an intersection and ran to flag him down, waving his parking ticket. Luckily the driver was cool and gave us a lift, because we we drove towards the stadium we saw a huge line snaking around the VIP entrance, where all the VIPs were lined up to get their lifts to the parking lot.
We waved as we drove by. It was quite a great date. Except for the m&m’s that melted in my pocket. Fortunately my coat is washable.