As a little kid, I loved watching “The A-Team” on TV. In elementary school, some of my class mates and I would play “A-Team”, and I was always chosen to be Murdoch (the crazy one, fyi). Later, when I was way in my 20s, I would love to watch re-runs of the show on telly because who doesn’t like to be easily entertained? I got a really good laugh out of the episodes, so that cannot be a bad thing!
The quote above was one of my favorite things about the show, and it made an appearance in my late Dad and my vocabularies as well.
We all make plans in life. Plans about the future, travel destinations, education, household chores, reading material, and so on. Some things end up on our Bucket List, things we want to do before we die. We also dream about things we’d like to do, and as the late John Lennon would say, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”, we also have this tendency to postpone those plans and their fulfilment, because, you know, right now is not the right time and there’s always “later”.
But what if “later” becomes “never”?
Case in point: my late Dad. He had this dream of buying (or at least renting) a camper van and travel around Alaska with it. He spoke gently of this dream of his, and while I am not sure if it still was of interest once he got completely involved with his Qi Gong and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), it was something that he was fond of. But then, fate mercilessly struck and he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly before Christmas 2010 and passed away on February 6, 2011.
He never traveled to Alaska.
While some, actually most, of my dreams are still not even close to become a reality, I do my best to make some of them come true. Like I did last weekend, when I traveled to Hamburg to attend my first ever home game of football / soccer team FC St. Pauli , a team I have had a soft spot for for many, many years.
But … wait! Aren’t you a supporter of Hertha BSC?
Yes, I am. But I just happen to love FCSP as well. It all started at some point in the 90s, because the club as well as their fan scene were very different in comparison to the majority of the league: from rather left-wing audience all the way to incorporating a freakin’ Jolly Roger in their flag. Last year, the team went to the US during the summer break and posed with a Pride flag and with Pride beanies in front of the White House, and to be frank, if I hadn’t like that club before already, I’d have in that moment.
That I also cannot stand the other Hamburg team for the dear life of me probably also helped. And there was that legendary “Weltpokalsiegerbesieger” thing: they once faced the mighty FC Bayern in a league game in 2001, Bayern had just won the Club World Championship and found themselves at the losing end of the game vs the tiny FCSP.
Fast forward some more years, and the Boys in Brown (their kit is brown and white) had a spectacular run in the cup competition, DFB Pokal. As it happened, they made it to the semi-finals where they once again met Bayern. And then this happened:
The teams walk out to the intro of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells”. And the commentator on TV said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the football church service is about to begin!” Even if I was only watching from far away, in front of the TV, I had the chills. THIS? Was something I wanted to do – watch a home game in their stadium.
In the course of the years, meanwhile, I had also moved to Berlin, this dream of mine had taken a bit of a backseat, to be honest, but at some point, two or three years ago, I decided I wanted to make it a reality and make the trip to Hamburg at least once in my life. The problem? I had no idea how to pull it off. Plus, I usually had some other commitments to attend to on the weekends, and getting a hold of tickets for Millerntor is not that easy as well, since the stadium always sells out.
And while I have immensely cooled off when it comes to football / soccer, I am always up for shenanigans, because why the heck not? Long story short: I kept an eye on the ticket sale platform on FCSP’s website and hoped to be able to snatch a ticket for one of their home games. Which I succeeded in. The game vs Ingolstadt on February 23 it was!
I was about to see an actual FC SANKT PAULI home game!
Having checked FlixBus way in advance, I also knew it was completely do-able to make the round trip within one day – and the cheapest option, too. Yes, I did have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn, something I usually DO NOT approve of in the very least (I am a night owl, and DON’T DO early mornings, kthxbye), but what the heck, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. 😉
And let me tell you … as soon as I was standing in front of Millerntor, I grinned like a possessed woman, because I was about to enter this very stadium I had been wanting to visit for ages, only, it had never worked out before.
Yeah, okay, I had a rather shitty seat, but I wasn’t sitting anyway, as it was too cold and I didn’t want to freeze my butt off. So standing it was, and well, I definitely do not regret it at all! This whole damn thing is SO punk rock – all the way to FCSP having some merch in combination with Australian metalcore band Parkway Drive. In addition, whenever FCSP score, they’ll play Blur’s “Song 2”, which is super fun when the whole stadium – as long as they’re fans of the home team – goes “Wooohooo!” as well. And yes, I legit DID have goosebumps when “Hells Bells” came on: as soon as the bell started ringing, I was like, “WOW!” It is one of those things you have to experience yourself to really “feel” the magic. It was my first, but most definitely not my last visit there!
After the game, I made my merry way to the fan shop, as I *HAD TO* have one of those aforementioned Pride beanies, as I am a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. There.
I also met up with my cousin whom I hadn’t seen in a while and I had texted him beforehand that I was coming to HH to visit a St. Pauli game.
All in all, while it was a long and exhausting day, I am glad I went and that I pulled this one off. You never know what life has in store for you, and sometimes, there is no “later” anymore. This is also something I have learned the hard way, as my late Dad’s story shows. And while I still have a lot of things on my Bucket List, I made one dream of mine come true and ticked this one off the list. I know some of those might still be out of reach, and will very likely remain just pipe dreams, but in the end, I want to be able to say, “I love it when a plan comes together!” and fulfil at least some of those.