COPA COPA COPA/ ¡Viva México!


Background information:

  • The Mexican soccer team for the Copa had this big scandal about prostitutes that got the 8 starting players kicked out of the tournament. Therefore, Mexico is not doing very well.
  • The Cuban/Puerto Rican Georgetown girl and I have been trying to get Copa tickets all week, but the website shut down and all the tickets left were 300 or 400 pesos (still a good price for a big sporting event, though). One of the last games that was not a 5-10 hour drive away was on Tues night between Mexico and Uruguay.

The story (though I wish I was telling this to you all in person; it would be so much better): 

So this classmate of mine is out on a Monday night (typical BA) and meets these Mexican dudes. She tells them we’re trying to get some Copa tickets, and they tell her that lots of Mexicans from their big tour group here for the Copa don’t really want to go to the games anymore because Mexico is playing so badly, and she’ll probably be able to find some people selling theirs. The instructions: go to a certain hotel, ask anyone wearing a Mexico jersey if they know anything. So, she hustles down there the next day, finds the guys from the night before (randomly in the lobby- lucky), they take here on this big adventure around town and treat her to a nice meal (and every time she asks about tickets, they’re like, “Tranquilo, tranquilo…”) and finally, at the end of the day, introduce her to a woman who has two that she is selling for 100 pesos (25 USD). SUCH A STEAL. Now at this point it is almost dinnertime, and the game is at 9:45 and hour away. I get the text, sprint out of class, and we arrive via bus in La Plata. This is where the fun begins.

This is how close we were, not zoomed. That's Diego Forlán taking a corner kick!!

So after a while of hanging out outside the stadium, we head in to claim our seats. As we are escorted closer and closer to the field, the usher appears increasingly perplexed. Finally, he stops, turns around, and directs us to a stretch of seats where literally no one is sitting. He thinks we could not possibly be part of the enormous group of rowdy

With Papacito. Whadda guy. (The head wrap has to do with a Mexican player who played injured the other day...)

Mexicans on the other side, amidst whom our seats were assigned. We assure him we are, and he seats us next to my friend’s new buddy and his posse (but actually). This man insists that we refer to him as “Papacito,” and proceeds to mix us rum and cokes throughout the entire match (not sure where the rum came from given we were searched about 10 times before entering…). I’m seated next to this old Mexican gaucho, and find that I can finally speak/understand Spanish at an appropriate level when I’m not talking to Argentines! OH ALSO, we’re in the fourth row. Like actually 20 meters away from Diego Forlán. So the game is amazing. This group of Mexicans is SO much fun and all so nice, and we ride back to BA with them on their party bus (regular Greyhound- they brought the party). We got to speak tonsa Spanish, they made at least 10 bus-wide toasts to Kansas City, a dance party occurred in the aisles, one had a strobe light on his phone that helped cultivate a boliche-like vibe, and a singer aboard commandeered the conductor’s microphone for about 10 minutes straight to sing old Mexican ballads. Also, the fact that they were all standing in the aisles got a whole lot funnier whenever the bus came to a stop. Think piles of people, still chanting soccer songs. It was all quite surreal. Then we arrive at their hotel and it appeared the party was going full steam ahead when we finally left.

(Update: Apparently our bus was pulled over to the police due to the fact that everyone was drinking, standing up, dancing, and yelling. Our conductor apparently did some pretty smooth talking…)

The. BEST.

I feel like this doesn’t come across as quite as strange/exciting/random/serendipitous as it was in writing. Ask me to tell it again in person, though. I’m 110% sure I will oblige.

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