We watched Eurovision in a sweaty little bar in Wedding. Before the show started a German boy asked me how the English people reacted to losing.
"Are you guys as bad losers as we are?" He asked me. "What does everyone say, when they lose? Does everyone say it was political, and all the East countries vote for each other, and nothing to do with the merits of the song?"
"Yep," I said, airily. "I would have to say that although there are fundamental differences between German and English people, reacting to defeat at Eurovision is definitely not one of them. EXACTLY THE SAME, that's what we bloody are. Even the calls to leave the contest next year because we're the ones who are investing the most money."
"It's nice to think we have so much in common, isn't it?"
Before the contest started, there was a bit of a comedy show in the bar. They used the Beamer to show us the ugliest, fattest, stupidest people at Eurovision, and they also played some of the songs which didn't get in. It was often vaguely homophobic and/or xenophobic, but it was pretty funny stuff. But I don't know. I felt guilty. Especially about laughing at that fat Icelandic woman. I felt bad. Did anyone-else think she looked like the ballooned-up version of Gabriele Pauli? I felt bad, laughing at her. The world needs more Icelandic ballooned-up versions of Gabriele Pauli. Probably.
"I'm not enjoying this," I whispered forlornly to my German mate.
"What's wrong?" He hissed back. "I thought you loved Eurovision."
"Yeah, but normally I just watch it at home. This is my first Eurovision in a bar, surrounded by Germans. Normally I am at home, with friends or maybe my boyfriend, laughing at all the foreigners with their silly hats and lime green hotpants on. And I don't feel guilty. I just enjoy myself. I don't feel guilty at all. But now. In a room, with Germans, laughing at all the foreigners. I'm not enjoying myself, that's all."
The German boy burst out laughing. "Jacinta, you know what your problem is? You're just being so typically German, now. Now I know you're truly integrated."
Well, that cheered me up a bit, anyways. Okay, so then the contest itself started. It's hard to list all the highlights, because there were so many of them - discovering that Azerbaijan was in Europe, for starters. Wow. That was a real shock for me. Slightly less embarrassing than the time I met a girl with really thin eyebrows and tight white jeans and bleached blonde hair, who said she came from Neuruppin. But she looked so Ost-Europaerin-mäßig that I just assumed that was an entire country I had never heard of, somewhere near Estonia or Slovakia or somewhere. "Oh, wow," I said nonchalantly, as if I'd heard of the country at least seven times before, "Neuruppin, yeah. What language do you speak there?" There were people getting their lighters out during Norway's song. Fortunately for me, I didn't have my lighter on me - fortunately because otherwise I would have been forced to burn my passport while watching the UK's entry.
And then Lena won. She won because she was the best. That is, basically, all you can say. There need be no paranoid conspiracy theories regarding Lena's victory. She fucking deserved to win, and she fucking did, and I had one of the best nights out in my entire life. So there.
But God. The British are bad losers. British people on the Internet were frothing at their mouth like they'd just swallowed down a whole tube of Imperial Leather, claiming some Very Cynical Things Indeed. Very Cynical. That everyone except for Germany deliberately sent their worst song in, just so they wouldn't have to pay for it. No, you guys. Britain probably did that, for sure, but the rest of em were trying their very bestest, bless em. That people voted for Germany as a thank you for the bailout money. Or that people always vote for countries that have invaded them.
Come on. Germany and Britain are the least popular countries in Europe. Germany is slightly less popular than Britain, but only just. The only reason Germany won is coz the song was BLOODY brilliant. Okay, maybe I'm übertreibing a bit. But it was good. And Lena, she was bloody brilliant. Is there anything better in this world than Germans with Cockney accents? And she'd put fresh pants on and everything. Stop being paranoid. Write a good song for next year, for Christ's sake.
Oooh. That reminds me. Next year. Well, you know. I have a dream. It might be a fairly unachievable dream, but that's not gonna stop me. I want to be the woman who says "And eight points from Germany go to... Sweden!" I know I could do that very well. I know coz I've been practising all day long. I'd be great at it. Someone, somewhere, take a chance on an unknown girl from Ilford. I'd even brush my hair and everything.