|The concrete signs of violence.
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Tonight, I was in a pub with imyril during the appalling England v. Croatia game. A middle-aged man with a shaved head walked in wearing tracksuit bottoms and an England t-shirt, carrying a beer in each hand. He sported symmetrical scars running from the corners of his mouth up his cheeks to the tops of his ears. It's a marking I'd seen before, but until I'd moved to this country, I didn't know what a Chelsea grin was. Acutely conscious of his presence, I felt myself on edge until he left the bar.
If I hadn't learned the history of hooliganism that lies behind such silent markers, I would have been blissfully ignorant. I would have had an undisturbed evening of drunken fun with my friend. Such is the price of cultural understanding, sometimes.