Eierlauf

0106 Rugby

Ein Haufen bulliger Typen, die sich übereinander schmeißen? Als mich ein guter Freund 2006 in Australien besuchte und sagte, sein größter Wunsch sei, sich ein Rugbyspiel anzuschauen, hatte ich keine Ahnung, was mich erwartet. Seine Erläuterungsversuche halfen mir leider auch nicht viel weiter, weil ich auf die Entfernung im Stadion einfach nichts erkennen konnte. Was steckt eigentlich hinter diesem Sport und warum ist er in Australien – und England – so beliebt?

In England und vielen anderen Commonwealth-Ländern ist Rugby ein Nationalsport. Im Albion gibt es hierzu den vielzitierten Spruch „Football is a gentleman’s sport played by hooligans, rugby is a hooligans’ sport played by gentlemen“. Whaaat? Das fand ich überraschend, als ich es zum ersten Mal hörte: Dieser rabiate Sport gehört tatsächlich an allen englischen Privatschulen zum guten Ton.

Rugby wird grundsätzlich nach zwei verschiedenen Regelwerken gespielt: dem der Rugby Union und dem der Rugby League. Laut dem Marktforschungsunternehmen Statista spielten 2018 in England etwa 70.600 Menschen mindestens zwei Mal im Monat in der Rugby League, in der Rugby Union waren es rund 240.000.

Die diesjährige Rugby-Weltmeisterschaft der Männer (Rugby Union), die am 2. November zu Ende ging, sorgte für ein paar kleinere und größere Sensatiönchen. Es war viel los: Das Turnier fand dieses Mal in Japan statt, und wegen des Taifun Hagibis mussten einige Spiele abgesagt werden. Die Ausrichter, die es in vergangenen Turnieren selten durch die Vorrunde geschafft hatten, gewannen alle ihre Spiele im sogenannten heat. Und die berühmt-berüchtigte neuseeländische Mannschaft, die All Blacks, verlor zum ersten Mal seit Langem gegen England, welches es dadurch zum ersten Mal seit 2007 ins Finale schaffte. Sieger des Turniers wurden die Springboks – zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte des südafrikanischen Rugby mit einem schwarzen Kapitän, Siya Kolisi.

Als wir den Rugby World Cup im deutschen Fernsehen verfolgten, amüsierte sich mein englischer Ehemann übrigens immer wieder darüber, wie die deutschen Kommentatoren „Tacklings“ im Plural benutzten, was im Englischen seltsam klingt (hier würde man tackles sagen).

Ein wichtiger europäischer Pokal der Rugby Union ist der Six Nations Cup. Dieser begann 1883 als Home International Championship zwischen England, Schottland, Irland und Wales. 1910 kam Frankreich dazu, und das Turnier wurde in Five Nations umbenannt. Im Jahr 2000 trat Italien bei und führte damit die Bezeichnung Six Nations ein. Seit 2001 gibt es den Six Nations Cup der Frauen.

Die nächste Rugby-Weltmeisterschaft der Frauen findet 2021 in Neuseeland statt, die der Männer 2023 in Frankreich.

Wer mehr wissen will, findet hier ein paar nützliche Links:

https://passport.worldrugby.org/?page=beginners&p=12&language=DE

https://www.rugbyworld.com/tournaments/rugby-world-cup-2019/tmo-television-match-official-explained-88934 (TMO explained)

https://www.sixnationsrugby.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_union_gameplay#Kicking

https://www.ran.de/rugby/news/rugby-lexikon-der-wichtigsten-begriffe

Der Pommes-Buddha sagt: Vor dem Ei ist nach dem Ei.

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The glitter revolution

0105 The glitter revolution

Living in Germany is great. I’ve talked to quite a few expats in recent times, most of whom confirmed that they have made a conscious choice of living here based on the standard of living, quality of life, benefits for families, social security and so on. There’s plenty to love about this beautiful country. However, one thing strikes many foreigners about Germans. What annoying quality might I be talking about?

Granted, Germans are perceived by most other cultures as rather direct and straightforward. But while this may take some getting used to, it is not always viewed as an altogether bad thing.

One thing, though, that does get pointed out to me time and again in conversations with immigrants (and that I myself find utterly annoying) is that Germans have a penchant for what I call ULOSIPping (unsolicited lecturing of strangers in public). This may occur in any situation, but there are two spheres where it tends to be applied most: traffic and parenting. Anyone staying in this country for more than a week will certainly experience instances of ulosipping. Let me give you two examples from our recent family life.

Situation 1: My English husband is cycling on the pavement with our four-year-old. Everyday occurrence in Cologne, as it has been permitted under the Traffic Code of North Rhine Westphalia (the German state we live in) for quite a while now for parents accompanying young children on bikes to ride on the pavement with them. An elderly couple comes along and the man feels it is his duty as a citizen to step in as Batman’s wing man and right a wrong here. But not only does he yell (like so many do), ‘This is a pavement, not a cycle path!’ – No, while doing this, he extends his arm in front of him across the pavement, so as to force Mr K off his bike. As this came as quite a surprise, my husband had to brake really hard, which made my four-year-old bump into him and fall off her bike.

Situation 2: I am crossing the street with my two children. Because of their height they obviously can’t see above the cars parked on the curb, so they step forward (as they’ve been taught in kindergarten police traffic training) to the edge of the cars so they can see if the road is clear. Zooming past us from behind on the pavement is a middle-aged berserk woman on her bike screaming ‘Get those children off the road! They’re about to get flattened!’ as she cycles across and back on the pavement again on the other side. I was so perplexed that it took me a moment to find my speech. Then I said, ‘Oh yes, by you, it seems like.’

Riding my bike about town a lot, I’m used to getting yelled abuse at, such as ‘The most wicked kamikaze cyclists are mothers without children!’ or ‘It’s not I who has to look out, it’s you!’ Or I get beeped at just because I’m there and cars need to slow down because of me. (Oh, the cheek of me, just being there, breathing!)

Also, strangers in Germany tend to tell parents and/or their children how to behave. When a child loses it at the supermarket, there is always a concerned mother or elderly woman (yes, they tend to be female) around the next corner who knows what’s best and will make sure to let you know. And often insist.

As my English husband points out, in his country, you would think those things but not say them out loud. Of course, not saying what you really think can also go the other way, but seriously, queens: a little less policing would do you full-blooded Teutons good!

I have a suspicion that, for some reason, Germans have a primeval craving to be right – myself included; I’m not entirely free from that either (as Mr K would be hard-pressed to deny). It seems to be in our DNA. I for one have been doing lots of yoga, Pilates and soul-searching and working on this in recent years, and I do find that, in spite of my genetic make-up, I’m gradually getting better at the initially ludicrous idea of loving myself and others.

So, my lovelies: A little more benevolence and warm-heartedness in everyday life would make social interaction so much easier, more pleasant and more joyful for everyone. Why not just break into song or start to tango the next time someone has a go at you? Or buy them a drink or wish them a wonderful day from the bottom of your heart. Imagine we all did this from now on – this is how revolutions get started. Kill them with kindness and feel the love, queens! (I think I’ve been QE’d beyond hope – I like!)

The Pommes Buddha says: When life’s a bitch, just sprinkle some glitter on her!

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