Boston is a bit like a small European city – it has history! And bad weather.
More seriously, it is a very interesting city, even though I didn’t do the tourist thing of following the red Liberty Trail around the city, but instead followed the trail most advised by the people of « Bahstun » as they pronounce it: the shopping trinity Quincy Market – Macy’s –Newbury Street.
I was also there during the rugby world championship, and wanted to see the France-England rugby match. Remember the match where the French got whacked out of the championship? That one.
I’d been told that the only place to watch a rugby match in Boston was in an Irish pub. I found one near my hotel, and got there quite early, an hour before the game, thinking I might sit with a pint and a book in the mean time. All the seats were already taken when I got there, but I was still lucky: a few minutes after my arrival, two women sat near the entrance and started taking a $20 dollars’ entrance fee from each punter coming in to see the match.
Once the pub was ¾ full of fanatical Englishmen and ¼ of roaring Frenchmen (few women involved), the game could begin. But first, the national anthems. The English roared « God save the Queen » with pride. The French stayed mute until one (I repeat: 1) of them started howling « Aux aaaaarmes citoyens » in the middle of the Marseillaise. A few followed half-heartedly, knowing they were outnumbered.
The funny thing was to see these European fans all huddled together in a Bostonian pub – Englishmen with the English flag draped around their shoulders and Frenchmen with blue, red and white painted on their cheeks. The atmosphere was very friendly until the end – or maybe that’s just because the deception of the French wasn’t perceived in this pub filled with happy howling English rugby fans. Their feeling didn’t last long though– one week later, they lost the final against South Africa…
Sing along with the English rugby fans: