Oh dear Germany. Now you know what it feels like being an England football supporter during the World Cup. I watched the Eurovision Song Contest last night – up until the voting. What a surprise to wake up this morning and see Germany in last place! It all seems a bit harsh. OK, the German entrant “Jamie Lee” did dress up as a Pokemon and squeak her way through a rubbish song but silly costumes and bad songs were a common theme last night so I thought she might have at least made mid-table.
Anyway, it’s good news for me – at least I can wind up everyone I meet for a day. I think they take it more seriously in Germany than back in Britain.* Along with the fact that nobody liked the song, there is also the suspicion that the voting was politically motivated. After all, the Ukraine had a stand-out awful song but it was about the invasion of Crimea and ended up winning. Perhaps the rest of Europe were giving Germany a kick up the behind for perceived bad behaviour. Taking in nearly a million refugees might seem like a good thing – but it’s probably vote suicide in Eurovision land.
As if the “onze points” debacle were not enough, the citizens of Stuttgart have had even more misery piled upon them as their team, VfB Stuttgart, lost the last match of the season and has been relegated to the second division. This has been on the cards for a few years but up until now they just managed to escape relegation with a bit of late-season luck. Obviously the die-hard fans are angry and upset but I think a lot of people around here will think it’s not such a bad thing. The club needed a shake-up and the “Maultaschen Mafia” which runs it could do with a kick up the behind too. Let me explain. Maultaschen (literally, gob pockets) are a sort of local ravioli which contain sausage meat. They are also called “Gottesbescheißele” which roughy translated means a way to trick God. This is supposedly because naughty people who shouldn’t have been eating meat on a Friday would eat their Maultaschen because the meat was covered up! I like Maultaschen – especially chopped into slices and fried with a little egg – a very traditional Stuttgart dish.
The Maultaschen Mafia is the term used to describe the local businessmen and politicians that sit on the boards of the local organisations and basically control how the region is run. Not illegal or involved an any overt criminal activity, just a bit too powerful for comfort. Rumour has it, for example, that Porsche wanted to pay more than twice as much as the next bidder to sponsor VfB Stuttgart. But the offer was turned down because Stuttgart’s board is full of ex-Mercedes people. So now that Stuttgart have gone down, my conspiracy theory loving friends will at least be comforted by the thought that the Maultaschen Mafia deserved it.
I don’t know if any of it is really true, but I do like Maultaschen and I also think that Maultaschen Mafia is a pretty good name for a shady organisation.
*as I understand it, we Brits think the Eurovision song contest is camp, irrelevant, takes itself much too seriously and is in fact a bit rubbish. This from a country whose two most popular TV Programmes are Strictly Come Dancing and the Great British Bake-Off. Hmmm…