Around two months ago, I had the privilege of being in Paris for the World Cup finals. This day was hands down the craziest I have seen sports fan and it was certainly a day for the books.
After taking a Lime Scooter to the Eiffel Tower because of far too many sweaty and drunk bodies in the metro, my brother and I noticed a ridiculous amount of police officers lining the streets blocking off the entrance to the tower with shields and riot gear.
While we tried to make our way down to the tower on an alternative route, we were unsuccessful as the police shortly after fired off their tear gas causing the crowds to sprint away from the tower.
Too many crazy fans took the tower for viewing parties by storm and the police were not putting up with the riots.
What shocked me the most was that people would camp out in chairs and sit in the middle of busy intersections. Police officers would ride by without saying anything to these fans, yet they gassed others who were seen as too rowdy.
The patriotism was evident and it was an exciting day, to say the least. While I did not end up getting to watch much of the game due to the tear gas episode, I did get to witness French natives celebrate their victory. My brother and I tried several times to find a bar we could fit into, but we had no such luck as people had been camping out for hours prior to kickoff.
Along the streets of expensive shops, many shop owners spent the game putting plywood up to protect their glass window displays. Once the game was over and France had won, lots of drunk fans threw their bottles into the store windows as their way of celebrating.
Singing and dancing went on for quite some time and while I did not know the words to their anthem, nor could I speak the language, it was still so much fun to be a part of.
Eight hours after the game when I was trying to get to bed, cars were still honking and cheering as they drove by. I was in awe of how patriotic and spirited they were, even into the early morning hours the following day.