I wasn't going to write anything like that. Yes, it was important for me that the Mundial went well not only from a football point of view, but also from an organizational point of view. And that's why I read a lot of responses in various foreign Newspapers, from new Zealand and Argentina to Japanese and, God forgive me, canadian. I didn't find any real drawbacks, there were quite a lot of praise, but among this praise almost every article necessarily found at least one paragraph with "but".
I have recently become much less read foreign press. First of all, due to the fact that there are all articles as a blueprint about the same. I'm not talking about the level of analysis or literary merit. Therefore, it was very easy for me to find three main ideas that the world media has been promoting in their reviews. All three fake ones, but since they are so hard to push, I got bored and I decided to answer.
The first is the talk that everything around is just Potemkin villages, and the goal of the championship for our government is the desire to cover up the problems and flaws of its own domestic and even foreign policy. The second is about the fact that we were allowed not to comply with the laws these days, the authorities made us indulgences. And the third is that not so much foreign tourists discover Russia, as Russians themselves discover what free people are like. I might not have paid attention to these delusional theses if they had not met in almost every opus, from the literary verified columns in the new Yorker to the lines of the composition level of the elementary school a La" How I spent the summer".
Well, if you insist, let's get this straight. And for a start it is necessary to understand what for us, ordinary Russian people, was this championship in fact. It was a holiday, such new year's vacation for a month. And for the holiday we decided to clean the house. And if we have guests, we get clean tablecloths and wedding sets, set the tables with the fact that infrequently eat on weekdays. We do that. But this is generally normal, this is done almost everywhere. It's just that we always offer our guests the best, a feature of culture.
And in this sense it is absolutely normal that the infrastructure was updated for the championship, the stadiums were completed (which even the most football countries do before such an event), the hotels were updated, and the safety in the places of mass celebrations was worked out. These are the usual organizational measures that they even mention strange, and given the fact that not all the host cities selected by FIFA, are tourist centers, somewhere this work, of course, was new. Only this was done in the overwhelming mass well, soundly and for a long time. And the fact that someone does not understand for whom there will be these objects, so it is unimportant. The main thing that it was clear to those who will manage them. And the move of the FNL team to Sochi for Fisht with another attempt to revive football there-this is part of this work. After all, Kuban is the most climate - friendly region for the summer games, and the population there is more than in the same Croatia, one "Krasnodar" is not enough.
Now a few words about the degree of permission at the event. To begin with, no one knows to what extent the patience of the police and Regardie extends. There were no major incidents - we do not see or hear them. But when a foreign activist came out with a single picket for the rights of LGBT to the Arena, he was tied instantly. And it's not because it's such a terrible problem for the Kremlin. It's just that this is inappropriate for our holiday before schizophrenia, and the crazy should be kept separate from normal citizens. When the English vandal fumbled over the monument to Cherenkov, it was found in a crowded stadium for half an hour. When again, English fans are drunk on the train, they were immediately removed, detained and quickly issued where necessary. Sale of alcohol in a glass container in day of a match was closed, on the cities placed the mass of metal detectors. But no one interfered with the holiday.
It was all so routine and usual that when our annual and perfectly ordinary school graduation day fell on the crowds of fans from all over the world, it turned out to be brighter and more noticeable than any event of the football festival. And it turned out that the familiar "Scarlet sails" are much more pompous than the Mundial. And Nikolskaya, who surprised the whole world with her lights, is just a fragment from the usual new year's holiday, when the whole center of Moscow is bathed in such lights. But we still have festivals of lights, fireworks, all the "Manor jazz", contests, bands and colors. And there is also no one wintet and does not limit the crowds and festivities. It's just that they all usually happen on weekends, not for four weeks.
Of course, for small towns caught in this cycle, a lot was new, including so many foreigners. But Moscow and St. Petersburg do not really noticed this invasion. Yes, the number of t-shirts of various teams on the streets has increased, but if you sit on the terrace of Theater square at any other time, you will also find it difficult to find a Russian visitor there. Just for this month the contingent changed a little. Of course, there is a quantitative surge of tourists, but it was noticeable only in some points. Moscow calmly digested it. Even in cafes and restaurants there were no special problems with tables.
The most pleasant for me in all this mess - quiet and business-like work of the city authorities. The city prepared two stadiums, a large fan zone on the Sparrow hills, decorated the arena And Red square, and... back to my daily routine. Was completely absent from the rush. No one tried to pass "the next anniversary", for example, the Polytechnic Museum and even the square in front of him. The same funicular in Luzhniki was made not for football, but for us. During the championship, a new metro station was opened, new landscaping areas were dug up as planned. But when the fans chose Nikolskaya as the gathering place, they were immediately distracted from everyday life, quickly organized security measures and returned to the routine.
So those who are trying to prove that we have done something with the last effort, trying to please, are wrong in the main thing. We live like this, it's normal for us. We are able to celebrate and relax without you. We just shared our skills with you. And whatever you read quill-driver, liked it even more than ours. Because they are a wonder. And we are used to it. All the features related only to the theme of this holiday, we really rarely celebrate football events. There are not enough reasons for this. And that in three days everything will change, it is also true. We are tired of this holiday, it's time to work. Business-time, fun-hour. Hour, not month.
And now we come to the most interesting thesis. The world saw Russia, and Russia saw the world. In our country, indeed, two-thirds of people do not even have a foreign passport. And in Latin America and Africa there were very few people. But to say that we did not know what it was would be a great exaggeration. We do not confuse Austria with Australia, we know how different Peruvians are from Brazilians and we do not call Iranians Arabs. "We were taught." We don't speak much foreign languages, but we understand intonation and pantomimes perfectly, and we can understand the meaning from the fragments of sounds. So it is not difficult to explain and help us. It's you who need to learn Russian to understand us. Because much of what is beyond your understanding of our lives cannot be translated into your languages.
And then go Ecuadorians from Rostov to Volgograd with a note in Russian, and come back with a PostScript "let me know that we got - we are worried." And the fanatic who beat anlican in Marseille, is looking for fans from Southampton (or where there) to give them the captured banner. Someone let them free for the night, someone drove between cities. And how many times we paid for guests-it is difficult to calculate. Even I am not too poured in a cycle, had to call Uber for Iranians who are late to the station, and a couple of times to treat Salvadorans (for some reason) and Brazilians.
You didn't try our kitchen too much, but we found pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs. And we were surprised to see how you ate all this in our Russian, Georgian, Uzbek and other restaurants and shrugged. It's your business, but we have food for a snack on the go. You drank and praised our beer, and we and your bad seemed too fresh. And when it was necessary, we quietly and easily danced with you Samba and salsa. The holiday, why not dance?
The most boring and uninteresting were The people of the Free World at our holiday. Harried looks, tucked against her shoulder head, squeezed to silence jaws. No, then they got drunk on beer and started to carefully whine. But the same Colombians or Moroccans much faster mastered our holiday and had fun. Enjoy free vitami, shared refreshments with the owners and arranged the dancing. And the Europeans were looking for constant pitfalls, they in every connection were seen as "Russian hackers", they avoided Russian girls and shied away from every compass on the shoulders of Russian guys. And if this inescapable fear in your eyes is your freedom, then I am for tyranny. Because you looked like a herd of brainwashed people.
The Japanese and Senegalese cleaned the stadiums after themselves, and the Swiss pissed a rank on the fences. All Islamic teams and fans seem to have passed through Moscow, but the first fight in the subway happened when the British reached it. I saw an organized tour of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, consisting entirely of Peruvians, and the Croats found a hole in the road and did not fail to poke a finger. I'm not talking about the wildness of their player, who now apologizes all week. And if you think it's a Civilization, I want to remain a barbarian.
When Russia unexpectedly for all passed Spain in the playoffs, the country poured out into the streets and walked until the morning. And there was no broken glass, beer dousing and broken cars at this festival. Everything that happened in England after their victory. It happened on the island, not in Moscow, because the main part of the fans were afraid to come here. Both good. Because we have such manners remained in 2002. this time it was different. Someone collected a penny and drove hitchhiking in all cities, and someone flew business class and treated young people in restaurants. We do that.
So I'm glad you enjoyed your stay. And us... for me, the street party ended with the departure of the last Latin American team from the tournament. Because I had fun with Brazilians, Colombians, Argentines and Mexicans. Even with the Iranians and the Saudis was fun. But with Europeans-boring. Census howling drunk, wet from beer and your own urine, the British moved to Peter. I'm sorry, Peter, but that's their problem now. In Moscow it is already a week apologetic for the stupidity of his players a handful of Croats, and the same handful of stunned by the architecture of the French. From the point of view of football, all is well - one of the obvious favorites of the tournament meets one of the strongest shadow favourites. And in terms of the holiday... it's over. They can't.
We had fun. Now go home. Vaya con Dios. We have a lot to do here. And when you get home, tell him we can smile. We just know when and to whom.
Remember our smile.