Germany has an unique experience at the moment: Enhanced opening times of the shops. In order to support such an idea, I went to my local grocery store knowing, that the ordinary Berliner should not get used to this “freedom” since the shops will close earlier again after the Soccer World Cup. As reported in the newspaper, employees of shops that are even open until midnight are kinda bored at later times – hardly any customers in the shops. No surprise to me because a) germans aren’t used to these enhanced times and b) in an area like Kurfuerstendamm an overwhelming number of shops are already closing at 10 pm. I do not think that people will start to look or search for the few that are open even later. Either all shops close at 10 pm or all at midnight.
Yesterday before the game Brasil – Croatia in Berlin I walked downtown to get an idea of the special world cup atmosphere. Lots of fans from different countries were walking around there, but: They basically stayed at the main squares and places downtown, sitting the cafes near the Brandenburg Gate, buying souvenirs or going into a bakery close by Unter den Linden which lets me wonder if really all the stores and restaurants in the other parts of the city that were getting ready for those visitors will profit from the World Cup.
A longer while ago I mentioned the initiative of a Berlin politician, Felicitas Kubala, Green Party, who demanded that only light beer is being sold at the Soccer World Cup – in the stadiums and at the fan parties. A recent poll of a big newspaper in Berlin, “Der Tagesspiegel”, shows, that she is obviously not alone with that view. About 84 percent of the callers were of the opinion that there should be even a ban of alcohol at Berlin’s biggest fan party, the “fan mile” at the Brandenburg Gate. Obviously watching soccer or celebrating it does not automatically mean being drunk or drinking alcohol in the view of a lot of people.
It’s interesting to see how many people suddenly care about a result from a soccer game once they see someone coming along with something that identifies him as a visitor driving home from a game. You get out from a subway walking around to maybe get some food and of course something that you wear or have with you like a flag, the stadium magazine etc. reveals that you actually were at the game. So, you won’t get far before some people you dont know at all grin at you, then there comes this moment of doubt where they might ask themselves “Is he ok, can I ask him without being yelled at?” and then they do ask you “eh, hm, hehe, how did they play, hehe?” Obviously those people didnt care that much how our local team played before or they a) would have attended the game or b) watched it on pay tv at home or at least c) listened to the radio but somehow it is important enough to them to ask other people for the result although they could find out right away when they come home.
Oh, and by the way: They tied 1:1
Just in case you care.