On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I went to Carrow Road to watch my first ever Norwich City match. It was my first time watching a Football game in a stadium outside Turkey and it was a different and amazing experience.
If you are a Football fan and go to matches occasionally, you know that each team and stadiums have their own rituals and chants. And once you learn them, that team and stadium feels like home. I’ve visited so many different stadiums in Europe, but they were all touristic tours. So being at Carrow Road and watching this match gave me a chance to meet with new rituals and hear new chants.
Norwich City was on a 4-match winning streak before this match and it was possible to feel that everyone was in a positive mood. We were sitting in a really nice seat, close to the pitch, so it was possible to see some of the players really closely. But sitting at the front rows have some negative sides as well. For example, you can only see one side of the game clearly. I was hardly seeing the left wing from where I was sitting. But of course, it was not a big issue, it is just a warning if you want to go and watch a match there (same thing happens at all the stadiums).
We were surrounded by regular ticket holders and found ourselves in the middle of a group of friends who welcomed us really well. They were telling us everything we need to know about the match and explaining the chants. I was glad they did that, because before the match all I was telling to my friend was how I didn’t know the words of the songs they sing during the match and how weird that made me feel. But on the other hand, they only sang one song before the match started and that was it. It was surprising for me, because normally when I go to Football or Basketball matches in Istanbul, we always sing different chants and never stop. During the half time, we took a selfie with everyone who was sitting next to us and again we felt very welcomed.
There was a moment where I felt surprised. When people were not happy with the decisions of the referee, they were shouting, “You don’t know what you’re doing!” Normally, I am used to hearing people say different things all at the same time and hearing ‘booo’ sounds. And because I am still used to that, I couldn’t participate to “You don’t know what you’re doing!” chants. It may sound funny, but I tried and it felt strange.
In general, I know that I will definitely be back at Carrow Road soon. I really advise everyone to go and watch a Norwich City match before you graduate. It is worth it.