Most of the time, the Yucatan prides itself on being different from the rest of Mexico, a land apart. There was a time when the government of Yucatan petitioned other countries to help them fight for independence from Mexico. And to this day, the residents of this part of the world consider themselves Yucateco first, Mexican second.
But as Aragorn said when talking to the troops at the gates of Mordor: “Not This Day!” The World Cup of Football (okay, soccer to some of you) has kicked off and everyone here is Mexican and rooting for the Mexican futbol team. Merida is usually quiet on a Sunday but even more so today because everyone is home with family and friends, or in a cantina with a television.
The Working Gringos are no different. We’re sitting here under our lazy tropical ceiling fan, dogs at our feet on the cool tile, cats licking their fur and the Mexico-Iran soccer match in its second half. Our stomachs are full with a delicious home-cooked American breakfast (eggs and bacon), including fresh orange juice and mangos. The screams and cheers that erupted awhile ago with the Mexican goal by Bravo briefly upset the calm (we couldn’t help ourselves), but now we’re back to our lazy Sunday postures.
We’re not usually big soccer fans, but we can’t resist the World Cup. There’s something wonderful about all the countries of the world competing on a grassy field, sending out their best and brightest (and handsomest!) young men to fight it out, with the worst casualties involving pulled hamstrings and maybe a broken bone on occasion, closely supervised by grown-up referees. Its just so darn civilized. And fun!
There are something like 12,000 Mexican fans in the stadium in Germany this afternoon and its fun to hear them screaming and blowing their horns. Even when nothing is happening. We can vouch for this fact: Mexicans make noise better than anyone on earth!
In the end it’s Mexico 3 and Iran 1. The goal keeper, Sanchez, who had just returned from his father’s funeral, was engulfed by his teammates in a big group hug amid shouts and tears of joy. We’re sure his father is proud today.
Time for us to raise a caballito of tequila and shout, “Viva Mexico!”