Argentina’s first World Cup match. Under grey skies, Paul, Jesus, Drew, and I dragged ourselves out of bed to get down to the Plaza San Martin by 11 to watch the match on the big screen they set up. We were running a little bit behind schedule, and while Jesus and Drew were in line at a cafe on a main street outside our apartment to get coffee, all of a sudden the whole block exploded, horns honking and screams of GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! while confetti came streaming down from the surrounding apartments. Argentina scored in the 6th minute. And we missed it.
Long story short, our plan was to take the subway but get off a few stops early because we thought it would be faster to walk (which turned out to be completely wrong.) So we got off the subway and started wandering through the streets, which were completely empty. Guess why?
After about 5 minutes of walking, with no plaza in sight, people in the group started getting a little anxious. We tried to get a cab, no luck, asked for directions to make sure we weren’t going the wrong direction, got nothing, ended up walking for like another 20 minutes or so and finally got to the plaza, in the middle of the pouring rain, just before…half time.
We gave up on standing in the middle of a field in a downpour with no rain gear and decided to watch the rest of the game in a cafe with other drenched spectators. Much better plan. Lots of table banging and horn blowing (yes, in the cafe). And we befriended the waiter, who was wearing a Messi jersey (along with half the country) to counter Jesus, who was sporting a Maradona jersey (along with the other half of the country.) The waiter was awesome.
So, on a personal level, game #1 was kind of a big fail. In the grander scheme of things, much relief over the win. If Argentina had lost the first game I was seriously concerned that the entire country would have collectively fallen into a deep depression. Next game: South Korea on the 17th.
Viva la Argentina!