Pictures: DPA/DER SPIEGEL
I'd never thought that I'd be going to like the World Cup. The Über-Aryans have been sent home just in time, Saudi Arabia has been trashed 4:0 never mind by whom (not quite as good as the 8:0 against Germany four years ago, but I'm not petty) and the last three German goals were scored by two Poles -- in the best tradition of German football. The only downer is the fact that the Dutch haven't dropped out yet, but maybe that was asked too much regarding Ivory Coast and Serbia-Montenegro. Oh well, don't lets be defaetist, there is always the next round...
Apart from that, the streets are empty in the afternoon, which makes it even possible to find parking space in the city center, and I and the dogs don't get molested by bikers, joggers, "Nordic walkers" (yuck!) and other gadflies at night.
The apocalyptic predictions have been proven wrong so far, no doubt to the chagrin of those who'd have loved to look noble as a juxtaposition to some bawling, drooling skinheads, but only folks as obsessed as Germans would trigger off a new "patriotism" debate over some black, red and gold banners and jaunty football fans or figure out how much extra fuel the little flags cost that are proudly flown from every third car here right now.