I will upload (and write about this trip) in three different blogs (one for each day) due to the total length I can imagine this becoming!
Back in October, many of the other assistants and I saw that the French football team were going to play USA in Paris in November (yes, I know, this is a rather delayed piece!) and some of us decided that we would go to the match. While the other assistants decided to simply go to Paris for the match and return early the next morning, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I have friends from Warwick who are nice enough to welcome me to stay with them for the weekend.
On the Friday night was the France-USA match and this was clear from the apparel sported by trains that there even more full than usual. Red, white and blue were the trend that night. Once we arrived at the Saint Denis station, towards the north of Paris, the crowds streamed out and we had to journey about 15 minutes towards the stadium.
Along the way, we passed food stands, people selling merchandise and we had to walk through an underpass, littered with anti-Sarkozy sentiments scrawled across the walls. The latter particularly interested me as the echoing thoughts that those who live in the banlieue, or outskirts of Paris, are strongly opposed to Sarkozy due to laws he has introduced, laws that have worsened their situation and have made it more difficult for them to find a job.
Onwards we went towards the stadium until we found ourselves shivering in our seats. In fact, we had to battle for our seats before we could sit down; apparently some people had swapped seats and included our seats in the negotiations leaving us with a struggle to essentially kick out the occupants of our seats.
The match itself passed by without much incident and the final score was 1-0 to France. They should have won by a far greater margin by they appeared to struggle finding the net with their shots. The USA team on the other hand simply seemed like a team that was very tired, with a lack of movement.