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CSY-book2 – “CULTure 08” chapter 1 b


One of the best away tripe of recent years was the game at the "san
siro" stadium of Milano,. I had flown again to Bergamo from Eindhoven
and bussed into the city, met a REd on the way, and caught up with the
"RED Army" in the Milano "Duoma" square, several thousands of REDS
partying in the sun, with local milanese fans joining in the "Torres
bounce" – this was the trip when it "took off" …story>?



(writers note ; these reports include some tips, and inside information for
travellers whilst they are made for mates friends, feinds & contacts made
along the way of my strange alien life, strange certainly for those who
couldnt imagine "dropping out" of the system…well, i do "pop back in"
from time to time, mostly just to annoy "them" <smile>, and if you are on
of "them" you might not appreciate the humour….*) so anyway, the title of
this (report) is

 "Tommy Masch in Milan, that was for 1965!"

…."there I was, around 11 at night, soaking up the magnificence of the
occasion, an even so important to the past & future of the Reds that it
stands alone..gazing at the inside of the SAN Siro, and SOAKING up the
victory with my RED army "comrades"….little did I know some more soaking
up would be required (back home) later in the week….

It started on Tuesday morning, woken up early by some "force" and found a
leak on the bathroom floor, not my fault! …so I turned the taps off, and
got up, checked my mails & got ready, having decided to travel light, there
was no bag to pack,
(my Italian friend, and former wine agent, Domenico having to go into
hospital meant that i would have to find accomodation, "on tour" )

So, with a change of shorts, t-shirt & socks i get on my bike,  a
toothbrush & razor in my coat pockets, i bike of to the unque border town
of Baarle (you can walk in & out of the belgian & netherlands territories
several time without noticing, apart from markings on the pavement)

a few kms to the bus stop and catch the "unreliable" bus to Tilburg and
within an hour I am at Eindhoven station, well in front of schedule, but….

instead of the airport transfer bus leaving at 10.42, it waited at the
station 20 mins, then 25 minutes went by, and a slight feeling of panic
crept into my stomach until we eventually left the station (in fact it took
more time from Eindhoven’s station to its airport than from home to
Eindhoven!)

TIP; buy strip cards or bus cards from station kiosks & some newsagents;
avoid delays during airport bus transfers.

with no bags I quickly checked in at the Ryanair desk and went through
security into the departure lounge a couple of minutes before scheduled
boarding..

I spotted some RED shirts, lads who had travelled to Eindhoven from UK,
testing the departure lounge beer selection, & told them about the Bergamo
transfer bus to the "centro citta" (central city) station. However, they
are rich enough to talk about taxing taxis, (rich Scousers, whatever next?)

(note ; Scouse is the name from people born in Liverpool city limits , and
the name of the local stew!)

So, being a true RED, I enjoyed a baguette and a "Bloody Mary" (vodka &
tomoato juice) on board. and a chat with belgian LFC fan Jurgen, who had
the window seat and we both bought the transfer bus tickets
(Bergamo-Milan-Bergam)

TIP: again, save time (&money) by buying bus transfers, if possible, on
board the flight, ask an air steward.)

We met Jurgen’s mate Nicholas at Milan central station, and got the metro
(TIP get a day card for onyl 3 euros in Milan, if you are going to be
changing venues, especially after a football match, you dont want to be
waiting behind thousands at the ticket office )

Nicholas mentioned that he had seen 2 flemish lads I know Marc D (who had
my match ticket!) and Nico vD (who didnt!) and sms from my mobile were
going out to all those flemish & dutch lads I knew should be in Milan, I
had expected us to meet at the Duomo (cathedral) piazza, but some of the
lads obviously didnt realise how BIG the piazza is and how difficult it is
to find a mate, when so many of the several thousands travelling REDs, wear
similar shirts!..

(TIP: pick a specific cafe, or other meeting point if you go to a similar
event in a country you are unfamiliar with, that applies to football,
concerts or other events)

Any way a couple of calls & relief! – Marc D. found me!, only e35 (I was
expecting it to be more expensive) and after I found BIG belgian ALSIN
member Marc S & his wife, went off for a relaxing glass of Vino
(montalcino) ..far too expensive at 6 euros but enjoyable all the
same…before re-joining the "RED army" in the Duomo piazza (square)
….and met flemish LFC fan Raoul, waiting for the toilet, in Macdonalds on
the way, and his (skilful scouser football team) mates Daffy & Walter came
by my table, its a small world in the LIVERPOOL RED family!

mobile beer & Souvenir salesmen make a "killing" in such special occasions,
and took home a special scarf, pennant, badge & programme. (TIP: IF you are
patient and can "haggle" souvenirs MAY be purchased AFTER the event, when
salesmen are often prepared to sell at cut price, BUT if the souvenir is
important, dont risk missing out, as these souvenirs can make great
presents or as some of us "crazies" like to do, hang on the wall…unless
you are married! )

the Piazza filled up with REDS & some friendly inter-Milan  fans who also
wanted to "party" ..there was a balcony over-looking the piazza and some
"milanese superstars" appeared to the joy of the screaming girls below –
amusing our lads no end!

we out-sang the locals on the train, and the transfer bus to the stadium
had a "warm up" singing the songs we know so well, and one or two new
ones..as our young recruits Fernando Torres & Javier Mascherano had become
firm favourites with true REDS,,although we were held back by security at
various times, to "feed" us into the massive SAN SIRO stadium, all was
going well, the "travelling KOP" took its place about an hour before
kick-off…

(Note ; The name "KOP" came from a LIVERPOOL soldier who fought in the Boer
war and a position on the battlefield in South Africa was called the "Spion
KOP"…and this name was given to the famous part of ANFIELD stadium,
LIVERPOOL, where, during the times of the beatles in the 1960’s football
stadium singing, common now, first became a feature of every game and
supporters "codex")

The several thousand "KOPITES" sang about the past victories & present
players and the new song for "El Nino" (boy) TORRES …sung to the tune of
"when johnny comes marching home" …replacing the original lyrics with a
number of descriptive lines, ending with "Fernando TORRES = LIVERPOOL’s
number 9)..and our several thousand were competing VERY well with the
70,000 Milanese home fans!

WE won 0-1 (3-0 in LIVERPOOL’s favour over the 2 games) and reports of the
game and the wonderful performance of the team, fill the media, especially
Pepe Reina, Carragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Aurelio , MASCHERANO & TORRES, meant
our new songs go a great "airing" so that by the time the team were
(arrogantly?) passing the ball around a standing ovation by our support AND
the home fans was heard along with OUR voices all around the stadium and on
TV (as I noticed when I saw the re-run on my internet TV = LFC.TV channel)

The Police kept US almost an hour after the game to let any angry home fans
clear the stadium (and maybe also to "opunish" us for winning at their
massive stadium that no other Italian team has won at this season?)

Another hold-up at the metro and the last (special) underground train took
us back to the Duomo. I saw Nico vD but he didnt answer, and talked to a
couple of Irish lads, with a funny sense of humour, Marc D, Bert & even
"Kola" said a friendly goodnight, in the early hours of wednesday morning,
until at the bar by the Duomo  about 04hrs I found myself standing
unusually  not particpating with , Mark  , and young Barney & Amy (brother
& sister on their first joint venture of travelling to a LFC european away
game) conjuring up lyrics (am i not the most spontaneous poet in my
lunchbreak?)

This new one was stolen/composed for our recently signed midfield dynamo
ball-winner (Javier Mascherano) called "Tommy Macherano"

("Scouser Tommy" is a song traditionally sung by LFC supporters)

This version goes something like;

"Mascherano of Argentina,
The truth is, he is a scouser,
He hates United,
He hates the blue *****,

His real name is Tommy,
…Mascherano.

(repeat)

Hail Javier Mascherano
The truth is
He is a Scouser
To reds opponents
He’s really scary
He comes from Bootle
Not Buenos Airies

"Javier’s not from Argentina, the truth is HIS name is TOMMY , he is a SCOUSER (whisper) "

(sung to the tune of "dont cry for me, Argentina,)

Of course non-supporters may find our FANATICISM  over the top! (too much)
but once you join the LIVERPOOL "family" its not only watching the games
that is so enjoyable but the "Craic" (party) during & after that goes some
way to make following the REDS our "passion"..


At about 05hrs, after several fine (little bit expensive) glasse of VINO,
being the "last fans standing" at the Duomo piazza, we took a taxi, dropped
off Mark and I slept on the floor of Amy & Barneys hotel room, (for a
couple of hours) and invited them to a pavement cafe brunch at the "bar
elite" (reasonable cost!) as the taxi & the brunch was the least I could do
for their kindness.. (such is the nature of true REDS; I had the same
experience years ago in Marseille, when all hotels were full)

WE then walked  AMY to the station to catch her train to a ski holiday in
the north (Br.) and Barney and I decided to continue with some "civilised
celebration" with an expensive bottle of Franciacorta (bianco=white) at a
nice pavement cafe..enjoying some banter with the friendly french-egyptian
waiter..

An sms from Marco K (x ALSIN Chairman) finally arrived on my mobile, made
me smile; confirming that he had virtually "bought" a taxi by his rides
from & to Malpenza,where he arrived via another airpor; the 3 Milanese
airports being Linate,(nearest to centre) Malpenza & Bergamo (furthest from
centre).

I bought some sunglasses after a slight "haggle" (negociation) for 10 euros
as the sun had been strong since our arrival. and we enjoyed that for a
while having a snack from a kiosk (please dont go to Macs or "Burger King",
as there are many enjoyable snacks to be had from kiosks around the city,
if you cant afford a restaurant

A nap on the transfer bus back to Bergamo & A last beer with Barney, and
then I was into "relax mode" 12 more hours to go before check – in thursday
morning..
do I had a meal in the airport – less than 10 euros including wine & fruit!
= va bene! (it is ok)

I asked the security guard (as I speak Italian) where I could sleep, and he
told me that "after midnight it is more quiet, you can sleep where you
want" …so I did, finding a little alcove near the cafe, I woke up 3 hrs
later to find the WHOLE airport full of sleeping bodies (mostly students
waiting to check in the following morning) and TERRY, a "macam" (from
Sunderland) lifetime LFC fan, who refused to follow his local team , was
"out of it" after 2 days of "party" and had mis-read his ryanair itinerary,
we was NOT booked thursday morning but thursday EVENING at the same hour.
So I bought him a "bevvy" ("scouse" dialect for drink!) much to the
surprise at the "cassa" (payment place) – often it is obligatory to buy a
"ticket" before going to the bar to get your meal or drinks, (this is often
the case at "cash" businesses in Italy and some other countries)..
and he smiled I told him about Al, the "macam" who i stayed with near
Anfield and who visited me in Geiswasser (Alsace, France)…when the
bathroom caught fire…he told everyone in Liverpool that  I had tried to
cook him alive…)

I changed my t-shirt, shorts & socks, brushed my teeth & shaved in the
airport bathroom, and …saw Raoul in the toilet in the morning,….he,
Flemish Stefan, daffy and their group had also slept on another part of the
SAME airport, without me knowing they were there!

(Note ; despite using BUDGET travel, and no dedicated HOTEL room for
myself; the cost of the "trip" was stilla bout 300 euros..which I do about
25 times a season.(mostly home games in LIVERPOOL & away games in southern
england and the rest of Europe). It is my passion and my major expense!

After checking in for my return flight to Eindhoven , I slept on the chair,
on the flight, eventually, VERY windy & bumpy flight (someone nearby was
very sick) on the train, on the bus back to Tilburg, and almost on the
bike!,…( I had caught the transfer bus to Eindhoven station immediately,
and a train was waiting for Tilburg), but once again I had to wait for a
bus to Baarle…so a windy bike ride tired me even more, kept me from
sleeping and…

…came back home to my old house, situated in the country between
Eindhoven & Antwerp, to find flooding in bathroom & underneath..& the
electricity out!

I switched off the lights, and although really too tired for this,began
mopping up! It  was just what I didnt need..Ii feared as much because there
had been wet on the bathroom floor tuesday morning, but shutting off the
taps in that room probably just pushed the problem elsewhere..I was "lucky"
that the water went down into the "inner garage" under the bathroom and not
into the kitchen or living room, and the electricit y was fused , but in
general all the lights etc. cameback  on…I put my hand on a wet light
switch, but the power was off!!…so i am still living…
 ,….in the San Siro stadium,after the game I just "soaked up" the
atmosphere and memories….I didnt need a "soaking" when I got home,,,

Although exhausted (only 5 hrs sleep so far since Monday night) I was still
happy…it was tiring but a GREAT result and revenge for us being cheated
in 1965 against this same club. The bond between team, manager &
supporters,  is UNIQUE in all the World…there was maybe 6 or 7000
Liverpool support , and 70000 Milanese yet we certainly out-sung them. in
the piazza (Duomo) in the day time and at the stadium, Marc D brought my
ticket to me & was ok – with a  comment and said he would get them for me
in future & Marc S also invited me to re-join the Rotterdam supporters club
in which case he would organise the travel & tickets at cost for me…!!!!!

LFC fan Graham sent many sms to me that he would  have a bed at his hotel –
but we missed each other and he infact left messages on my OLD mobile
number , but not having a bed meant I met new (good) people, and in the
sunshine it was 20 degrees or more, and we had SUN in our hearts & visions
& dreams of more European (champions league) CUP glory to follow.

If you want to enjoy these sort of trips or "tours" , I can put you in
touch, and my mates & I are organising other "crazy insider tours" mostly,
at cost…have a look at my website is ; http://www.eured-san.net (scroll
down to the links to "club" or "insider"
and for "REAL supporters"  theres a page at
http://www.eured-san.net/elson.html

Do  YOU want to play footy (football) ?…or would you like to, this spring
or summer? We have some fun footy tournaments around europe, very cheap,you
dont have to be serious , they are organised more for the "craic" than
anything…YOU dont have to play…but… There are teams for Men,/Boys,
Girls/Ladies & "mixed" in "just for fun" tournaments.

I rounded my week off by going to the bar next door to find a plumber, and
being bought so many drinks that I lost another nights sleep, So its been a
"trial" just keeping enough alertness to write this "report" – I dont think
you could possibly have enjoyed reading it as much as I did "living" it.

You’ll Never Walk alone…

ChriS SMITH
B2387 Zondereigen, EuRED@live.com or cristopher.smith@telenet.be

I had hoped to visit Domenico Pedrini, owner of "Pravis"
(www.pravis.it) – he was my former wine agent during my sucess with
Trentino wines more than 20 years ago…In Trento, but his daughter
told me he was in a Milano hospital..I was sad that I couldn’t find a
way to visit him..)

* these "reports" will one day (I hope) be "properly edited and form a book, for more details (or not) go to http://www.eured-san.net and look to the links on the right hand side…

cont…

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