One of the few advantages of being in the “estupido” spanish class is that you don’t get a lot of homework so I left Kate to her endless irregular verb conjugations, grabbed a couple of Amigos and walked 10 minutes up the road to the grandly named Stadio Olimpico to watch the local football derby between Deportivo Quito and El Nacionale.
This was definitely not the English Premier League but did have few advantages. Firstly it only cost $6 and then you could sit wherever you wanted and secondly once you had sat down they bought everything to you – beer, hotdogs, crisps, sweets, empanadas, weird looking potato dishes, more beer, pretty much anything you could desire was bought straight to your seat and drinking lots of beer was actively encouraged (well I do like to help the local economy…)
The game itself was typically South American. Not so much with the flair and deft skills of the players but definitely with the petulant gesticulations when the referee disagreed with them and the rolling around on the floor everytime they received the slightest touch. We witnessed at least three miracles where suspected broken legs were fixed by the merest touch of the physio’s magic sponge…hallelujah!
The best thing about the game though was the atmosphere. Although the stadium was only half full (it was only 6pm on a cold Wednesday night) the drums and the samba music were infectious and deafening and both sets of fans sang their hearts out. The most impressive thing was that even though El Nacionale lost 3-0 they didn’t stop singing and dancing until well after the final whistle.
Can’t wait to see how mad the crowd would go if they actually scored a goal.