14 April 2009

Europe - Round 4

Here we are at the finals of Europe! Up next, the Final Four!

(1) Paris vs. (10) Trans-Siberian Express

Frustrated ever since their exit in Round 2 of the Asia bracket, China has come roaring back to influence the finals of the European circuit. When Chinese officials got word of the success that the Trans-Siberian Express was experiencing, their Tourism Director decided to make an inquiry to tournament officials, citing the fact that one of the major lines of the Trans-Siberian runs from Moscow to Beijing through Mongolia. Well, wouldn't you know it, this got the snowball rolling - so to speak. Play-in game loser, Mongolia, then protested that the Trans-Siberian Express should hardly be classified as a European entry, as most of the line is within the continent of Asia. Geography purists will comment that there is no such thing as the continents of Europe and Asia, but one mega continent, known as Eurasia. Tournament officials were now drowning in protests, and the train had yet to leave the station (pardon the pun)! Beijing, as the Chinese are wont to do, decided to play some back-door politics by seeing if they could get their fellow Security Council members - London, England - to co-sign a joint complaint to tournament officials. With their summer Olympic ties bonding the two nations, London and Beijing concocted a back door proposal to the Trans-Siberian Express. Their proposal was quite simple: as most tourists will simply not be jumping on board a train from Moscow and heading out east, high not form a mega train, traveling from London, U.K. all the way to Beijing China, all in the comforts of Euro lines coaches. This was an intriguing proposal, and the Russians were quick to accept - ignoring any ramifications from officials of course - as they feared Paris and the French would present a stiff opponent for the finals.

As all this was transpiring, the European Union was quick to convene an emergency session, fearing that their reputation as the world's leader in tourist destinations would lose some of its lustre, out of the pure complexities of the London-Russian-Mongolian-Chinese conglomerate that was forming on the other side of the table. The Germans especially were distraught, as they country had not a single entry in the entire tournament. "How can Germany not be represented in a tournament on world travel destinations?" The Kaisers of central Europe managed to coax France (really, are you surprised that the Germans got the upper hand on the French AGAIN? It was either this or give back Alsace-Lorraine) into a separate agreement to align with the mega-train projects that was now coalesced. The decision was as follows: to cancel the final game between Paris and the Trans-Siberian Express, and to create one joint winner for the region of Europe, to play in the Final Four. The Finals representative would be made up primarily of the Trans-Siberian Express (as it covers the bulk of the distance) with a departure from London, through Paris, onto Berlin and into Moscow, encompassing stops in Amsterdam, Warsaw, Minsk, and St Petersburg. From Moscow the train will travel through Siberia and into Mongolia, before arriving in Beijing. Some purists will argue with the methodology of the tournament finals, but none would argue that this is one hell of a train ride into the Final Four!



1 comment:

Josh said...

Holy crap, I want to take a train from London to Singapore. That'd be ridiculously awesome.