After 47 lovely European days and nights, I’ve finally arrived back in North America… But the long walk home was not without its moments.
Heading to London (where my flight back home was from) after covering IDFA in Amsterdam, myself and two colleagues opted to avoid the hell that is transiting to or from a London airport and took the train. I drastically prefer the serenity of trains to the exhausting stress of planes, and this one in particular did something I’ve always been wholly fascinated by: It went through a tunnel built underneath the ocean.
But our journey was not serene. Somehow we ended up on a car that was almost entirely occupied by extraordinarily drunk Germans dressed in football jerseys en route to some sort of big game happening in London. They were either pouring rum into giant bottles of Coke or taking king can after king can from giant cases they’d somehow been able to bring on the train. And they were fascinated by our presence.
Some were worse than others, and it was them that consistently stared at us asking us if we “were girlfriends,” making effeminate gestures and then bursting into horrendously German laughter, commenting on the fact that we were drinking Coke Light and “fizzy water” and then calling us German “faggot”-alternatives, or chanting bizarrely rehearsed little songs with oh-so-beautiful lyrics (wait until about 20 seconds in…):
The best part was that they did all this while constantly touching each other’s asses and then laughing as if their homoerotic horseplay was somehow threatening to us. They were such remarkable neanderthals that I couldn’t help but feel more entertained or anthropologically educated than offended or scared. There was really nothing we could do anyway… The train attendant came to tell them to calm down and they basically just told her to fuck off. And she didn’t argue wih that. Frankly, I wouldn’t either.
When we got to London, the few non-football fans all gave us looks of solidarity and or mouthed “I’m sorry.” And the football fans went off into their blackouted nights in London, which almost certainly ended in multiple arrests, some attempted rapes and a similarly rowdy return train trip. So if you plan on taking a train from London back to continental Europe at some point today or tomorrow, be prepared for the German Neanderthals Express…