Having a British husband is quite something.
It’s like having a Jewish mother.
That’s about the only way you can discover the deepest secrets of what really makes a society so strong and united.
Especially around the Olympics, Olympics held in London, the British – their pride, sense of humour, history, and multidimensionality of character – stand out, polished, self-jokingly, natural, and true to each other, all waving their beloved union jack.
And, thanks to having a British husband, I could see exactly what makes this nation so great, what made them such an unbeatable empire once, whose features are deeply engrained into the DNA of its inheritors today.
But I have never seen more of such pride and joy of being a nation than I did during those two Olympiad weeks.
Spending them in Brighton helped, of course.
Everything screamed British.
From cookie jars to viewers in public cafes watching the games on large TV screens.
Even I – far from being British – screamed for Mo and Jessica and had tea at 5pm.
I’ve never felt so supportive for a sports team let alone for teams that don’t even belong to my country of origin.
The British did it with a great bang – from opening and closing presentations, to organisation and pure marketing – and made me wish I could belong to them.
I’ll remember this Olympiad forever, and, I have the feeling, many of us will, too.
My family’s support for Team GB was a serious business.
But my husband tackled the problem with great focus, stamina, and eye for detail.
From fish&chips, to pampers, ‘team GB’ T-shirts, and ELO all day long, we got geared up like mini ceramic dolls on display in a chintzy souvenir shop somewhere on the south Lanes of Brighton.
We bought cheese packed in team-GB theme!
As long as it had the union jack, Olympiad London, or team GB on it, we bought it.
No matter what it was – tin cans or tea bags.
We’re only waiting for the first stamps to be printed – and we’ll have from those, too.
Key chains – check.
Backpack – check.
Book marks, hats, posters, vintage Olympiad posters – check, check and check.
I was worried that on our way back from Brighton they’ll stop us at the claims area at the airport to fine us for trafficking unregistered trading stock.
My husband would have paid the fine, I’d bet, as long as they didn’t confiscate all our team-GB themed paraphernalia.
The great thing about the Olympic games is that it’s not about sports.
The way TV is not about delivering information, or, McDonalds – about satisfying your hunger.
The ancient Greeks were smart enough to figure that out about the Olympiad so long ago.
The way Romans figured out the purpose of the gladiator fights.
The Olympiad is a triumph of good over evil, of the civilised over the barbarian, of the hopeful over the pessimist.
Yes, the Olympiad has been a metaphor for political hegemony; a trial of the fittest; and a display of great national achievements.
But it is also a uniting block and an event to celebrate civilisation, humanity, and hope.
No wonder the Brits decided that the motto of this one Olympiad – London 2012 – was “INSPIRE A GENERATION”.
Exactly because the Olympic games are, and should, always be an inspiration to our young ones, to keep mens sana in corpore sano.