Sports leave me cold. I have no interest in watching them, playing them, nor do I really care who wins. Oh, I can drum up some national spirit if Team Canada is vying for the gold medal in hockey at the Olympics, but that's about it.
As you may remember, the Euro Cup 2016 took place earlier this month. In France. In fact, the final matches were the week we were on the cruise boat. Team spirit ran high. When the final came down to France vs Portugal, most people had strong opinions one way or the other. Our boat docked in Paris that night, and the Eiffel Tower was visible from the top deck. Big screens played the game to the crowds at the Tower. We weren't certain if the smoke visible in the photo was from fireworks or tear gas - both of which played a part in the evening. Off-duty crew were able to watch the match from a small television on deck.
I didn't really care about the outcome, although if someone asked me, I'd say I'd like France to win. What I really wanted was ...
...a hat. Like this one, seen on the captain of the ship. I thought it would be a great addition to my French classroom. There were lots of hats being worn that week, but I couldn't find any in the stores. Perhaps we were in the wrong stores.
The night of the big game, I spoke to the captain and he told me that if France won, I could have the hat the very next day.
You might know how that turned out. France lost to Portugal. In overtime. I said nothing to the captain the next day. He looked very, very glum. Devastated, I heard someone say.
No hat for my French class. Dommage.
As Tim and I trundled our bags away from the ship on the last day, a group of crew members chatted a little distance away. One of them came over - it was the captain.
"Do you still want the hat?" he asked.
He asked me to wait and brought me his hat. He apparently recovered from his "devastation" for he's smiling here.
"Next time, perhaps France will win," I suggested, in my best French.
"I hope so," he replied.
As a bonus, there's a music box in the hat that plays the Marseillaise - the French national anthem. Won't this be a great story to tell my Grade 8s?
PS. The other gentleman in the photo is our cruise director. He cared as much about who won the game as I did, but thought the hat incident great fun.