>Rehearsing one opera, learning another for next fall, pulling another back out of three-week storage, and above all watching the World Cup over my scores. Germany is breathing a collective sigh of relief now that their team goes on to the Final 16, and does so without feeling guilty, because their opponent, Ghana, goes on as well. (Nobody really wanted to kick Ghana out of the running.)
This weekend Ghana will play the US team and Germany will face England. I expect the British media will have us living through both World Wars until Sunday. Some commenter over at the FIFA site remarked that he’d like to see “more Germans on the German team”, by which I guess he means more Aryan boys, but even if there are people who don’t want to hear it, Germany has become pretty much the ultimate melting pot. Players like Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Özil actually reflect the diversity of the population in the country today. Still has a way to go, sure, but the old stereotype, still hanging on in most of America, is just a ghost of a parody now.
The other weekend, while I was traipsing around Munich photographing historical monuments, I stopped for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant, and as I sipped my tea a young man in a wetsuit cycled by, with a surfboard under his arm. There were people of all colors out on the street, lots of 20-somethings (I was not far from the English Garden). It’s a vibrant city, and people who automatically connect it to beer and Lederhosen do it no justice.
Update: Well, of course, the day after I write this, a group of Jewish street dancers were attacked by teenagers throwing stones up in Hannover. The BBC reports that several of the attackers were Muslim immigrant youths. In a (sadly, negative) way, this reinforces my point about the diversity of the population. Which isn’t to say everybody gets along. Ignorance and meanness exist there too, I’m sorry to say.