Work was more of a joke than usual today. England had an important footy (soccer to Americans, football to others who don’t call their sports by weird pet names) World Cup game, so people were a little less than eager to do mad paper shuffles. I didn’t need to watch the game: even through closed doors, people’s reactions were loud enough for me to know any time England was doing doing well (yeah! / all right!) or had screwed up (oh… / shit!). After they ended up pulling off the upset against Argentina, I heard drunk Englishmen singing for hours. People are so passionate about soccer here that some pubs have signs in their windows: “No soccer. No problems.” I guess overzealous, fat, old fans make up for their inability to actually play soccer themselves by throwing fists for their favorite teams…
Headed to the Tate Modern for a cultured if somewhat strange beginning to the evening. Unfortunately, the Matisse-Picasso display was sold out so we just wandered around. This place is crazy: big old power plant revamped into a museum so sweet that you can’t help but appreciate modern art after a few hours amongst the many odd displays. Although I still question whether some of the more extreme works qualify as pieces worthy of display, my definition of art widens with every visit to the Tate Modern.
The evening ended with not-so-fine wine. Mike and I had bought a bottle each, intending to have a little along the River Thames after the art and before meeting some friends. Unfortunately, a corkscrew was nowhere to be found, even after I asked quite a few random strangers for a Swiss Army knife. Some ridiculously drunk soccer fan did explain to me that my odds were about 3 out of 10 that someone I’d ask would have one, but he wasn’t one of the 3. by the time we finally found a shop willing to pop the tops, we were right outside our friends’ apartment and I was more than a little thirsty. So, I did the logical thing and drank same wine, some meaning an entire bottle in under 20 minutes. Yes, this was stupid: I argued with an equally intoxicated Brit that David Beckham, star of the England soccer team, is a bitch, had a little difficulty walking home, and didn’t feel too well to the old stomach. It’s all good, though: live and learn. I learned that my tolerance has increased so much that I can drink a whole bottle of wine myself, but I also realized my body won’t thank me afterwards for such overindulgences. Moderation’s the key, and not being able to find a corkscrew also helps.