The world is opening up again bit by bit, and the Euro Cup is our first reward for the long, long wait. Although the country was marked orange all year, it was not due to opportunistic patriotism but due to COVID and the RIVM’s travel advice.
Student village Rijnveste, close to my home, looked like a supporters’ camping these last two weeks. Couches were dragged outside for every match, beer was cooled, and projectors calibrated. Nothing was left to chance to ensure they could cheer together. Or in canon, when the neighbours were experiencing lag. With the rising temperatures in the past academic year came a matching easing of the measures.
Our neighbours are French, and their neighbour is a German friend. Depending on who’s playing, we watch the match at one of our three homes. The German friend confessed she always looks forward to a moment where she can raise the German flag without raising any eyebrows.
Even a slacking orange team should easily be able to best Czechia
Last weekend, it was our turn to host the neighbours. When I went to the supermarket at just before six to acquire some final liquid encouragement, was given free orange pastries and was greeted with ‘have a great game!’ rather than ‘have a great Sunday’, nothing seemed able to ruin the evening.
Moreover, Mathieu van der Poel and Max Verstappen set the example earlier that weekend, while their challenge appeared much greater than that of the Dutch football team. Even a slacking orange team should easily be able to best Czechia. The last Czech player that rings a bell is Pavel Nedvet, a man close to my dad’s age. Oh well… this is just rubbing salt in the wounds. Luckily one of my housemates is half Flemish, so there is still a backup team to support.
Despite the athletic disgrace, the Euro Cup has also set my mind at ease: we may have had a simmering social life for a year and a half, we can still drink beer and chat about trivialities together. Or about football, of course.
Oscar Delissen is a third-year bachelor’s student in Food Technology. He enjoys cooking with sharp knives and colourful festival shirts.