October 28, 2007
I hadn't been to a soccer game for a long time, so today I went with some people from my hostel to see the game that South America loves. The scene outside the stadium was chaotic as usual, and none of us could even figure out so much as which team's tickets were for sale in which line, if you even could call the cluster of people pushing and shoving a line. We eventually got tickets from a lady I presumed was a scalper, although so many other people were buying tickets from her, she might as well have been an official salesperson. Later, we figured out that we had bought tickets for Liga, which was by far the most popular of the two teams, and we were allowed into the stadium only after walking halfway around it.
We ended up sitting right in front of a guy who had brought his drum to the game, but it was bound to be loud and crazy no matter where we sat. A couple near us seemed really into Liga as they not only wore the team's hats and shirts, but also had a radio and announced the play-by-play to us as interesting things happened. The only problem with the commentary was that they never found the need to say anything until the guy with the drum started banging away.
The sun was fierce, which was to be expected being at both high altitude and on the equator, but everyone got mad when I pulled out my umbrella to create some shade. Something about poking their eyes out. Luckily I still had my secret weapon of a bucketful of sunscreen that I put on before we left. Everyone else got sunburned.
Overall, the game was interesting because it was full of aggressive offensive moves. I think Liga should have scored about ten goals, but we only ended up winning 3-1. Our most expensive player was a guy from Argentina who got fat and sucky as soon as we signed him, and nobody in the crowd was afraid to share their opinion of the guy. We learned a lot of new words in Spanish that normally wouldn't be used around children, but the game still wasn't nearly as rowdy as the ones I had seen in Buenos Aires. This despite the fact that people handed out free razors to everyone entering the stadium, even the little kids who were walking in front of us. The best thing about going to a game in South America is that you can buy all the food and drinks you want with little or no markup over what you'd pay in a supermarket.
The photo album for this entry is here.