MY FIRST SOCCER GAME
Of all the the things I’ve done in life, and of all the experiences I have had in my almost 30 years on this planet, I have never in my life attended a professional soccer game. Been on a soccer team (in grade 3) and gone to practice, sure. I’ve even been to see my friend’s brother play in his peewee league once or twice. I’ve seen soccer on tv, but don’t think I’ve ever watched a whole game. But I have never attended pro game. This is somehow weird to me.
So, in the interest of try everything in life at least once and expanding the breadth of life experiences and yadda yadda yadda, I jumped at the opportunity to go see a soccer game in Guatemala City a couple of nights ago. In a “field trip” organized by my Spanish school, we were to go as a group to the game in scary Guate City (I say scary because the city has quite a bad reputation for violence and I have been advised in low, hushed voices to not go there by myself). The price of the field trip was pretty steep- 200 quetzales, which is about $25 USD- for someone (me) who is currently unemployed and has not more than a fleeting interest in fútbol, but I threw caution to the wind and said what the heck and ponied up the cash for my ticket, because hey! I’m in Guatemala, and you only live one, and ¿por que no?.
Hence, I went, and enjoyed myself once there, but there were a few events that took place before the game that made me think that I should have just stayed home:
#1: I WAS WAYYY TOO EXHAUSTED. If you read my last post, you’ll know that I ran a great deal (12 kilometres!) in the morning before hopping in the minivan at 4pm to go to the game in Guatemala City. 14 (!) of us piled into the minivan that can probably only comfortably seat 11. There was no room to relax. There was too much talking and exitement to try to sleep.
#2: THE TRAFFIC. Guatemala City is a 45 minute ride on the highway from Antigua when there is no traffic. Because it was rush hour, I expected it to take a bit longer, but no longer than 2 hours. IT TOOK US 3.5 HOURS. WITH 14 PEOPLE IN A CRAMPED MINIVAN. It was not fun. If I had known it would have taken so long to get there, I probably never would have gone because I always feel car sick in moving vehicles, particularly when the ride is bumpy, hot, cramped, and involves the ridiculous amount of starting and stopping that is typically characteristic of being stuck in a traffic jam. Which brings me to:
#3: THE NAUSEA INDUCING RIDE AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE DURING THE RIDE. I usually feel car-sick (nauseous, dizzy, and headache-y) but never in life have actually thrown up from car-sickness (though I always make sure to walk with a plastic bag just in case). Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for another girl in the car. When we got in and she, another guy, and myself got stuck in a row in the back, she only complained of a headache. I was nursing one of my own so I commiserated with her and told her I wasn’t feeling so hot either. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep a bit; next thing I know, she’s barfing into a plastic bag that has a hole in the bottom. Lovely. I felt terrible for her, I really did, but almost secretely glad that it wasn’t me. Does that make me a bad person? I guess I got my punishment because the contents of her stomach that leaked out of the bag actually was all over the ground near my feet- and of course nobody had napkins to clean it up, yuck!- so I had to keep my legs hoisted up for the remaining 2.5 hours in the car. As I am grossed out by vomit I really don’t know how I made it through the ride!! Of course, she moved up to the front seat so she could get more air and left us in the back to deal with her upchuck. *shudder* Is anybody else grossed out by vomit? I think I have a slight phobia of it, whether it be my own or somebody else’s. Anybody else out there afflicted by motion sickness?
#4 THE GIANT RIP-OFF: Okay, so I understand that my Spanish school had to organize the trip and everything so they are entitled to charge us a bit more to go than what the ticket actually costs, but I still am feeling ripped off. Why? Us students paid 200 quetazles ($25 USD) for the excursion. I figured that we were paying a bit for transportation and whatnot, but imagine my shock when we got to the stadium and I realized that the actually ticket for the game only cost 10, yes TEN quetzales (not even $2 USD)!!! Not cool.
Anyway, once we actually got there, we had a great time. The ambiance was great, the fans crazy, the air crisp and nearly cold. The Guatemalan team, the Cremas, won, and I had a great time listening to people cheer and curse loudly in Spanish and learned a whole bunch of new Spanish swear words. Which are probably most important words in any language. Yes, it was a pretty darn good time overall.