Arriving in Hanover just after midnight, I was pleased to find the lone service agent at the information booth spoke English. So did the taxi driver. And so did the receptionist at the hotel. A pretty good start to the four days we would spend in Germany for the World Cup. I think we only found 2 or 3 people the entire time who didn’t speak English.
After a brief night of sleep, Rosario began unpacking the outfits she’d brought. She handed me the five piece costume custom-made by her mother. I’m a team player, so I suited up. Rosario broke into laughter, but reassured me I looked the part. I decided I might as well lose my ego for a day and give into the World Cup spirit. Even though I’m not from MÃ©xico, it couldn’t hurt to pretend. This was, after all, a dream come true for Rosario and I didn’t want to party poop.
We walked to wait for the tram and all eyes seemed to be on me. But once we emerged from the underground station, the streets were red, white and green as far as the eye could see. Small groups in every direction erupted in spontaneous celebration.
We stopped to watch the last half of the Netherlands vs. Ivory Coast game with the crowds at the public screen. Our snack choices were beer, corn-on-the-cob, beer, sautÃ©ed mushrooms, or beer. I can only imagine what it must be like during Oktoberfest. I ordered the mushrooms but couldn’t quite finish. I needed a plate full of sausage and potatoes to round it out. It started sprinkling, so we headed toward ground zero. The closer we got to the stadium the crowd only intensified.
Once inside, it was clearly a Mexican majority. We heard estimates that out of a total 45k sold out seats, 40k were Mexican. The wave circled the arena many times, along with “olÃ© olÃ© olÃ©,” “culero,” la chiquitibum and others. The token drunk fresa sitting next to Rosario broke one of her maracas. I’ll never understand why people get plastered to enjoy themselves at events like this. I ordered the bockworst (extremely long dog) which had about three times as much bockworst as bun. Not bad, but the atmosphere made the absence of diced onion and tomato even more apparent.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the earth, Cindylu was blogging the game live. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the more boring games of the Cup. No goals. No winner. A disappointment that we didn’t get to shout GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, but still a good time.
We made it back to the hotel for another brief night of sleep before taking the train to Berlin the next morning.