Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Futbol! (Sunday, March 21)

After a lazy barbecue at our hostel, The Pelican Larry, we headed out with a bunch of the other backpackers to a futbol game downtown. It was two Cali-based teams, though weirdly, their names were Cali and America. Gunther, the big German hostel owner, described the game in terms everyone of us -- Americans, Brits, Frenchies, Argentinians, Israelis, and Aussies -- could understand: "It's like AC Milan vs. Inter Milan." So, you know, a big deal.

Gabe tells me that riots at soccer games around the world are a big problem. And I expected a big police presence. But this was different, I think. Mounted police everywhere. They don't let people wear belts into the stadium, so there are lots of little "businesses" where people will guardan your belts until the end of the game. I got fully patted down at the entrance and had to take off my shoes for inspection. And then there was this, parked right outside the gates.


The game itself was fun, though a totally different kind of sporting event for me. There wasn't a scoreboard or even a game clock that we could find anywhere, and instead of having locker rooms, each team inflated a tent to rest in during halftime. But the enthusiasm made up for the lack of resources. The crowds were crazy pumped and everyone was singing, pounding balloons, and some had even brought their own drums and horns.