Monday, 10 October 2011


Repeat after me: ALLEZ LES BLEU!

He sat in the row below ours. Directly in front of the very loud and very abrupt Frenchie who would suddenly bark out “ALLEZ LES BLEU!” seemly at random but most likely reacting at crucial points to the Esprit De Corps with a perfectly timed pause between that just begged any supporter within earshot to join him. Much to the feigned embarrassment of his girlfriend who declared to one and all that she didn’t know him. You see he was so loud that everyone in the section would turn to look every time he opened his mouth. That was how we meet the American.
Taking the full brunt, he and his girlfriend would be the first to turn. They took it in good humour though. The reason I single the American out, though, is the fact that he came across so different to your typical American; quite, fairly polite, good humoured as I said, and intimately informed in the ins and outs of rugby. He was supporting the Tongans, which I also thought was unusual. He was here on a six month working visa. The real connection was my brother’s running commentary of the game. Once he realised someone else actually knew what was going on he began comparing notes. I think this exchange was partly responsible for my brother’s split loyalties that developed halfway through the game. Yay, the French, GO TONGA! He didn’t want to alienate his listeners.
And then we all left. No goodbyes, just a late random salut to the loud Frenchie as we walked out of the stadium. But he made me think, that American. He was nothing like what I see on the TV or the standard obnoxious tourist (of which I hear more of in rumour than see in person).

The American (looking at the screen not laughing at the French)

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