Absolutey knackered...Got back from a weekend in Amsterdam tonight. Whew! What a weekend!

First thing's first. I must write about that awesome World Cup game against Italy Saturday night. Oh. my. Lord. What a freakin' psychotic game! Three reds?! I cannot believe the Rossi red on Mc Bride was at all equivalent to the Mastroeni "red." Wtf! As people have said, we were apparently playing against Italy and the ref in that game. I mean, the bugger even smiled when he looked at Rossi after the McBride foul! I called the game at 2-1 USA (me being optimistic after that Czech fiasco game...) but Ghana today made it seem like we had a chance to stay in, and this game confirms it. It's a pity that Mc Bride was (apparently) offside and Beasley's goal didn't count. Oh well. Now we just have to beat Ghana, and Italy must beat the Czechs. Good luck all.

I watched the game at a sports bar in Amsterdam on Leidsplein. It was packed with Americans and Italians--I'd say about evenly split, or maybe a few more Americans. Though it felt nice to show some team spirit, I have to say that Americans are in a bit of a predicament when it comes to national pride these days--especially in Europe. They're scared to show any sort of nationalism, whereas other teams sport jersies, flags and the like. It's pathetic.

So I was quite glad when people stood up and sang the anthem and I loved the "U-S-A, U-S-A" chanting. The Italians kept trying to one-up us with their own chanting, and the scene grew quite ugly after the first goal they scored. An Italian guy near me turned around shouting "Italia...Itaaaaliaaaa..." at the top of his lungs while pumping his fist and glaring at me and the other Americans near me. Frankly, that sucked. We hadn't done or said a single thing in his direction. It was obvious that this was much more than just a game...or at least, the USA cheering was more than just for their team...ridiculous.

Why is it that the US can't cheer and support their team as much as any other country?! That is bogus.

When we scored some minutes afterward, we all made sure not to sneeringly or jeeringly reply in the same fashion. No sinking to their level. Plus, I don't get happy out of making others feel demoralized and bad about themselves.

There was one Scottish dude there who seemed intent on making trouble, and sadly enough he was rooting for the Americans. I do swear that half of the "loud/bad American" stereotypes out there are perpetuated by non-Americans who speak English and look sufficiently "white" or "American." Hell, why would they be like..."nono...I'm Canadian and acting annoying..."...

The Scot was calling Italy shit in Italian and making fun of their team. When he made a mention to Mussolini, some Italians really got riled up. I had adrenaline surging through me most of the time...and the spirits were quite ugly at many points. Luckily, the Scot finally realized he'd crossed the line with that last remark and settled down a bit more (he also told them he was from Scotland, which relieved me)...

That Italian guy next to me became a lot nicer after the US made their goal and we didn't sneer at him as he had to us. I suppose he realized how stupid he had acted. In any case, the game was entirely draaaaining and I could have gone straight to bed right after. Though, of course, I didn't.

Anyway, more on what happened after the game the next time I blog as well as a description of my current l'auberge espagnole-esque living conditions, which I love.

I'll finish this post up on something that has been bothering me a lot. While traveling through Amsterdam--I had been there about 1.5 years ago--it was clear that one thing was different. People were a lot more anti-American...and they didn't really differentiate between the people at the government, contrary to what many believe. Perhaps it depends on the person, but the overall vibe I got from most people was...friendly as ever for the first 10-20-sometimes 30 minutes that I'm talking to them, and then once they new I was from California...(oh, forgive me..."America"...*chokes back vomit* <---display of sarcastic humor) they suddenly drew back with a disapproving glare and a holier than thou stare.

Then, they proceeded to lecture me on our horrible perception in Europe as well as the ins and outs of our ruinous domestic policy (because they all know so much about that), and our foreign policy, of course.

Now this post isn't about defending the political arguments. Hardly so. That can be another post. But all I would like to say, is that these people should get the hell off their "high and mighty" chairs and realize that they are the damn hypocrites here. Foreign perception? Oh, I suppose Americans are supposed to coddle Europeans and beg them to be friendly to them while they're traveling abroad. Short of licking their ass*s, I don't think I could have been any friendlier. Admittedly, they seemed to have no real problem with me, but just could not help launching into their glowering angry disapproval of America in general, regardless of whether I wanted to hear it, or preferred to enjoy my brief holiday before returning back to 14 hour workdays...

Oh yes though, I remember, Americans should seek out such discussion, right? As ambassadors for good will and all that shit. Well, every European who snubs me outright without talking to me about the specific issues in an open-minded and discussion-oriented fashion, makes me not only lose my respect for these people, but makes me more and more reluctant to follow along.

Now let me say that I know many many many wonderful European who are non-judgmental, open-minded and understanding. Who don't mix up the political and the personal, but then again, if Americans are criticized as a whole for those few annoying loudmouths who travel about and scuff it up for the rest of us, then I think we all should be held to that same "lowest denominator" standard.

All I wanted to do this weekend was travel to Amsterdam, check out a museum exhibit, relax, watch football...and have a good time. I did have a good time, but it was largely soured by intimations like "woah, an American going to a museum exhibit? well...*cue person soaring to great heights in order to look down on a prostrate LYLT* that is good, especially given your perception abroad, that is necessary."

Why thanks, arsehole.

I just want to cheer for our football team. Why do I have to make excuses to do so?

We shouldn't, and I won't. Next time someone gives me a hard time about such things, I shall kindly tell them to shove it up their's...and screw abroad perceptions.

This rant brought to you by--Amsterdam.

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