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Published: August 7th 2006
Tonight, Felipe and a friend of his took me to a football match of their favorite club Cruzeiro. I´m obviously lacking some pictures, so I´ll try to elaborate as much as possible to convey the scene.
First off, Felipe picks me up and we head to a simple bar for a beer. I love these bars and I wish they existed in Canada, but due to the strict liquor laws we have I think they would be impossible. Spread out across the sidewalk are these plastic tables and chairs, usually with beer advertisements on them like Skol or Antarctica. These are good places to just come and talk with friends. We shared 2 bottles and just enjoyed the rest of the day leading up to the game. These bars would only exits in Canada if walls were put around the patio with someone checking ID´s etc... The more I travel, the more I realize the strict alcohol laws back home and sometimes I think it´s ridiculous. I just want to enjoy a cold beer without having to be hasseled all the time about drinking in public or identification. Edmonton is definitly lacking some good patios!!!!
I´m slowly learning the tricks of the trade here in Brasil. We get to the game by car and not only does Felipe´s friend take the face plate off of his cd player... he takes the whole deck right out of the compartment and shoves it under his seat. Felipe hides his wallet and keys under the floor mat and they advise me to do the same, but ahha, I come prepared this time with no phone, no wallet, no camera, only some cash in my pocket and the keys to my house. These football games can get a little rowdy at times.
Approaching the stadium there are fans everywhere and people selling BBQ meat, and beer and knock-off Cruzeiro merchandise. Tickets are only 15 reais so we get three and enter the stadium. We have to enter in a specific enterence mainly because they like to seperate the fans from either team and put them on opposite sides of the stadium. Santa Cruz isn´t a very important team and they are the visitors so their side of the stadium is practically empty, whereas our side is ram packed with cheering fans. There is no arranged seating here, just find a good spot and plant your ass there. There are numbers on the seats but no one uses them. Think of the college corner at an Eskimo game and you´ll get the picture. Soccer fans are CRAZY! We find some seats near the drummer people. These guys pound out rythems the whole freakin game and everyone chants these different songs. Before the game starts they chant out each players name on the team and then they get into how their team is better than the other team in Belo, Galo (whose not even playing and is in another division, but still there is a huge rivalry).
At the end of the first half, Cruzeiro was leading 3-1 and everyone was happy, but in the second half Santa Cruz poped two more goals and the game ends in a 3-3 tie. Of course I was offically baned from ever going to another Cruzeiro game because I was labeled back luck (or cold feet), but I didn´t care. At least I got to see my football match in Brasil. One interesting note: there is no game clock to let you know how much time remains. Apparently this is the norm in soccer games so that the players can´t tell how much time remains and just pass the ball around making for a boring game. I like the suspense of knowing that there is only so many minutes in a game left and things get desperate and of course the final 10 second count-down is a classic.
Well we headed home in disgust, but at least I wasn´t robbed and I didn´t loose any digital devices (as you can tell, I´m a little bitter).
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