Tim Southampton Rover Posted September 15, 2010 Share Posted September 15, 2010 Every now and then you'll go to a football game and whether you win or lose you'll end up having a classic football story to tell your family and friends when you get home. I found it fascinating reading through some members memories on the football hooligan thread and it made me want to hear more stories people have had attending football games. Bucharest I went with some pals to the UEFA cup match between Steaua Bucharest and Southampton in Romania. Our flight was delayed quite a bit and we ended up in a rush to get to our hotel before the game. We arrived at the Athenee Palace Hilton, fed up, drenched from the rain and in a hurry with just over an hour till kick off. As we arrived, the Southampton team had checked out and were boarding the coach. We were told at reception that our rooms were double booked but somehow with a little help from the Southampton assistant manager we blagged free upgrades to the top suites. We were over the moon. We dumped our stuff and the 5 of us flagged down a taxi and we somehow bundled into an old Dacia. If you have been to Romania then you will know just how tiny and crap these cars are! Whilst heading to the stadium we found ourselves stuck in traffic with 20 minutes until kick off. The driver told us that we probably wouldn't get there in time but after showing him some extra money he decided to drive past the traffic jam on the pavement weaving around people and other cars which had decided to do the same. The rain was so heavy it was virtually impossible to see where we were going but somehow we arrived outside the stadium. We paid the driver but instead of driving off he got out of the car and walked with us to the ground. Unbelievably he got through 2 armed police/steward checkpoints but froze on the 3rd checkpoint when a police dog went crazy at him. The police then took him away. We don't know what happened to him after that. We managed to get into the ground as the game kicked off. We couldn't find our seats because the whole away end was overcrowded with Southampton fans. We stood in the aisle and at one point I was stood on a policeman’s boot. He didn't tell me to move because...well...I couldn't move. I wanted to because he had a massive semi-automatic in his hand and I was sh**ing myself. The Romanian crowd though were unbelievable. The noise was so loud, flares were going off everywhere. It was brilliant despite the heavy rain and Saints getting knocked out 2-1 on agg. After being released from the pen after the match, we got another taxi home. This time we got back to the hotel smoothly but instead of being charged a few quid like previously (inc. the extra money we gave the taxi driver) the taxi driver switched off his fare computer and gave us a piece of paper with the cost of the taxi journey. He tried to rip us off and charged us over £100. We started shouting at him and we told him we would only pay him a few pounds. Stupidly my friend gave him the wrong notes and ended up giving him about 60 quid. We spent the next few days enjoying Romania and came across some weird situations. At one point we were followed around by prostitutes, lots of beggars, a mansion which was abandoned but was now home to stray dogs and cats, some old guy wanting to swap t-shirts with me on a bus and seeing a homeless kid (looked no older than 5) sleeping rough on the train but earnt his money by dancing to strangers. We even made an old taxi man cry with joy after giving him all our change on our last day there as we couldn't swap our currency back in England. When we checked out the hotel, they asked us if we enjoyed our luxury rooms, the spar, pool and the free bar on our floor. Free bar??? We said? Apparently anyone staying in the top suites could have any drinks they wanted in the private bar. Stupidly we spent an unbelievable amount of money (im talking hundreds and hundreds) in the public bar and the free upgrade didn't seem so free after that. I am sure we've all got some good stories to tell. That's one of mine. What are yours? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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