August 20th last year, the US team played Guatemala on the first round to qualify for the World Cup. I was in Guatemala and Tom came that day at noon. I was so absorbed in my projects I had not realized this was going on in time to buy tickets, so in a last minute explosion we decided to scalp tickets. We paid Q400.00 for Q250.00 tickets (about $50.00 a piece).
There is the version of tailgating. Usually you get dropped of because there is no parking. The street around the stadium are closed an the street vendors take over. You can buy scarfs, bandanas, flags, you name it. You can eat meat in tortillas with a cold beer, tostadas, etc.
Tom was probably the only 'gringo' going for Guatemala and according to many of our friend crazy enough to go to the stadium, since it was considered a by the FIFA a High Risk event. The game was at Estadio Mateo Flores which seat 30,000 people 29,600 going for Guatemala and no more than 400 extremely brave americans, secluded to a very protected area!
My husband, who was born in Germany, was ready to say he was German if anybody asked. I won't say the score (because that is irrelevant to the story :)) but from the eyes of my husband what impressed him the most was to see 29,800 swearing in unison during most of the whole 90 minutes.
At first I was very embarrassed but then it became a joke because by the end of the game when hope was lost the fans turned back on their team and started now swearing at them so I told Tom, "see, don't feel bad it wasn't personal, everyone was at some point of time reminded of their mothers"
Going to see a soccer game is not a thing for everyone, but it is a very folkloric event. I don't have pictures because I was afraid to take the camera so the one picture is as we were leaving the house.
As the dad of a son adopted from Guatemala, I just want to thank you for writing your blog. We speak Spanish and our son's being raised bilingually, but it's really nice to learn more about Guatemalan culture. Muchas gracias!
Thanks YOU so much! Congratulations on your bilingual family.
I am having a blast writing it and it really makes it worthwhile when I see people are actually reading it.
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