On Saturday Jan. 16, the Toulouse Football Club hosted Paris Saint Germain at the newly renovated Stadium Municipal. This match was going to be especially fun for a few reasons; TFC had previously been demolished by Paris (5-0), but they were coming off a morale-boosting win against Reims and there was a, albeit miniscule, chance of an upset. The other reason was that this match was the first since completed renovations and there were inaugural celebrations planned.
I don’t necessarily care a lot about sports and their rules, but I can’t help but get excited watching live games! Just walking up to a stadium and being surrounded by crowds and the cheering. It’s a thrill. And as Daniel explained it, this was an inexpensive way to watch a world class team (PSG) do what they do best.
The game kicked off around 5pm and if you squinted, the skies looked a little violet-colored. Maybe this was a premonition for our Les Violets!
After several heart-stopping attempts on goal made by TFC, the first half ended 0-0. Daniel told me that if we were to put a goal up on the board, it should have happened already and now it was only a matter of time until PSG unleashed their prowess.
But what should have been another massacre, was actually held off by TFC. The game ended with a pretty respectable 1-0 PSG.
Cue the inaugural fireworks!!
I’ve heard that soccer is called “The World’s Game” and now I can understand why. Daniel’s father is from Honduras and instilled the love of the game in his son from a young age. Growing up, Dan’s been on teams and played for fun. And most recently, soccer has been a way for him to bridge cultures with his colleagues at INSA, who come from all over Europe and the world. It dawned on me that when he plays with his colleagues, they’re probably speaking the same language – soccer language (plus some Spanish thrown in!)
Sitting in the stadium, it was really cool to watch Daniel cheer or yell at the same things that everyone else was, but just in a different language. And even though we didn’t understand much of what anyone around us was saying, Daniel was fluent in “soccer” and it made the whole experience that much more fun.
After of course, we went to the bar!
De Danu is the largest Irish bar in Toulouse. It’s located a few steps from the Francois-Verdier metro stop and is owned by Irish-born Trevor Brennan, who played for the Stade Toulousian rugby team and now lives here in his adopted city.
We got really good burgers here which the French eat with a knife and fork. I mean, I’m ok with cutting my burger once, in half. But after that, it’s hand food.
About that time, the right amount of whiskey and Corona had taken affect so I suggested karaoke.
Stumbling distance away happened to be a bar offering karaoke on a weekend night – unheard of!
I was feeling more confident than I should have been because the Google map directions were leading us down a street that looked absolutely desolate. This road looked quiet and residential, not like where we would find a rowdy karaoke bar. When we did find the exterior of the bar, it looked closed because the metal grates were pulled down but we could hear people and music inside. Someone in the group tried the door and it was open! Once inside, there was a big floor with people dancing salsa and meringue. Behind that though, was the karaoke room.
Much to my surprise, there was a family there with kids. It must have been around 1am. I was weirded out, but then decided that if they were offended by my rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” then that’s the risk you take with karaoke! Young, drunk people may arrive and howl-sing.
I’ve done karaoke in a lot of different settings and usually the rule is: the weirder the better. This night was perfectly weird. I hope we go back soon!