Europeans Crowd Bui Vien Bars to Watch Euro 2008

“Football fans, no matter what their nationality, find it easy to join any of the groups in the Go Go Bar, which is right in the center of the backpacker area,” Peter said. “All you have to do is take a drink and relax.”

Peter is a teacher who has lived in the city for two years and knows everything beautiful about it, especially its lifestyle.

There is no fun in watching a football match without placing a bet, he said. He’s not the only one who wants to gamble in this exciting sport, he said. Some of the other foreigners who have lived here for a long time enjoy this very much.

“We don’t bet a lot,” said George Thompson, a friend of Peter’s. “A few bucks is no big deal. Sometimes tourists join us, but not usually.” 

By 10 p.m., there are no seats left in the bar. Some talk about that teams that are going to play in a few minutes, while others discuss match scores. Beer and peanuts are catalysts that increase the level of joy.

You can see the same scene in other bars and restaurants nearby, such as Pub, Hong or Seven. People wear shorts and T-shirts.

“These clothes make us more comfortable while we scream and rock as the ball moves,” said Mark Lewis, a tourist from Norway. He complimented the local fans and said they were quite friendly. They even bought him some beers and snacks, he said. In return, he explains details of the match to them.  

By 11 p.m., it was impossible to hear anything over the screams and cheers of customers rooting for their favorite teams. Fans clinked glasses together even as beer ran down the sides. Some people even ran out to dance on the pavement when their favorite team scored or took a penalty. Bui Vien Street shone like a ray of light during what looked like the biggest party of the year.
“However, it’s not really safe here,” said Steve Johnson, who arrived in the city just a few days ago. “Last time, while watching the match with a big crowd here, someone stole some money from me. I felt a sudden hug and a hand touching my pants pocket. Now I have become wiser and do not usually take much money with me. Some guys will rob you without a second thought if they have just lost a bet.” 

The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship is heating up and its fans are getting excited as the final days approach. The fans here, especially in the backpacker area, will remember not only by the moves of ball, but will also retain unforgettable memories of the place they stayed during this special season.

Truong Son

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