POLAND 2014: KRAKOW – DAY 7

I was invited to the football match between Wisla Krackow and Górnik Zabrze. The result: 2-3. As I walked into the media room, I was met with familiar faces from the previous day’s match.

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Just before kick off at the Wisla stadium. I sat next to a journalist who was enjoying the game on his day off. He quickly became my own supporter.

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Gornik fans… After the match, I was in the press conference and decided to walk out to where the Gornick fans were gathered, half naked and chanting on the top of their lungs. I walked as close as I could until my face was almost pressed against the sheet of glass that separated us. The whole group turned their attention from the pitch to me. I took the opportunity to wave and smile at them. They responded. But then, they started chanting to me, waving their hands in the air with huge smiles spread across their faces. I couldn’t figure out what this chant meant so I turned to the journalist beside me.

Saturday 24th May 2014 @ 3:05pm

SARAH: What are they chanting about?

JOURNALIST: No, it doesn’t matter.

SARAH: No, please. Tell me. I want to know.

JOURNALIST: They are saying, “Show your boobs”.

SARAH: (Snaps a quick photo) Oh! Ok. Well, that’s definitely out of the question.

With that, I walk back in to the pool of male journalists waiting for the press officer to arrive.

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“White Sharks” grafitti. On October 20th 1998, a 19 year old fan of Wisla Krakow threw a knife at the Italian Midfielder, Dino Baggio who then needed five stitches to the head during a Wisla vs Parma match. The team were then banned from the UEFA and European soccer for a whole season. The attacker was identified as Pawel Michalski and this man walked into the restaurant where I was indulging in traditional Polish lunch after the match. There were quite a few very interesting and shady characters in that place. I found it difficult not to look around too much and I was definitely also catching eyes. A muscle bound wrestler walked in and out of my gaze as I finished my food. It was like dancing with danger.

That night, I forced myself to finish writing my pitch then almost blacked out into bed. But Yasmin had other plans… So we headed out into the night in search of the owner of Krakow’s biggest gay club and we struck it lucky when he accepted our request to be interviewed.

SARAH: I’m like a secret weapon.

YASMIN: Yes, you definitely are a secret weapon!

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Sarah Begum

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