Sonntag, 16. September 2012

September 16 - Buenos Aires

I didn't sleep very well that night: first it was too hot, then I felt cold and I also suffered from a sore throat. When I finally took a pill it got a little bit better and I could sleep til 09:00. After taking a shower it took me a while to get dressed. Today was the soccer match: Boca Juniors vs Independiente and I had no idea what to wear. My teacher, my hostmother and the shop clerk who had sold me the ticket they had all warned me to go there without attracting attention. They said it would be the best not to carry any purses or backpacks and to wear the oldest and most grey clothes I had. I knew that the colors of Boca Juniors would be blue-yellow but I hadn't brought any t-shirts like this. Because I had no idea about the colors of Independiente I finally decided to wear my jeans, a black t-shirt and my fleece over it. Because I wasn't sure about my red scarf I decided to wear my "head" (from skiing) and fold it the way that only the black color could be seen. Then I only packed my voucher, 100 pesos + coins for the bus and a map into by belly-bag and hid it under my jeans and t-shirt. I hoped that this would be enough for the unlikely event I got lost or something went wrong and I had to take a taxi...
After having a small breakfast (2 toasts with cream cheese) I was heading for the bus. I had no idea how often the buses run on a weekend, so I left at 10:30 to be at the pick-up point on time. The second I arrived at the bus stop my bus arrived. Because there was not so much traffic jam (Sunday) I was at the subway station pretty early and compared to my usual weekday trip to the school it took me less time. When I got off the bus I only had to wait 5 minutes for the subway and after 10 minutes I got off at Palermo station. The pick-up point was in front of the McDonalds and after coming out of the station I saw the McDonalds immediately on the other side of the street. I arrived there at 11:30 which meant that I had to wait 45 minutes to be picked up...
While I was waiting I was asked for directions by 3 different people (=> I must look like a local:-) ). The only answer I could give each time was: "Perdon, hablo un poco espanol":-).
At 12:10 I was joined by 2 other couples and the bus (an orange school bus:-) arrived on time. We were the 2nd stop and 2 others followed. When the bus was full (Ute and Remo got on at the last stop and Ute took a seat next to me) Paula, one of our 2 Spanish guides, explained in Spanish and Pado, the other guide, in English. The whole day would work like this:
- first we would spend some time in a bar/restaurant and get some pizza and beer (included in the price).
- Then we would get our tickets and go into the stadium where we would be in the standing area with the Boca Junior fans. Usual only members (fans of the club) can enter the stadion. So we got the membership cards of people who didn't attend the match that day. After passing the turnstiles we had to hand the cards back to Paula and she would give the membership cards back to the owner. Even though the transfer and the pizza and beer was included, we, the tourists, paid a lot for the admission and I think it was a good business for the guys:-) Anyway, once seeing a soccer match in Argentina was worth it:-)
- We were also warned to stay under the roof because the fans of Independiente would be just above us and were famous for throwing things down on the fans of the opposing team.
- After the match we had to wait until the Independiente fans would have left the stadium and then we would be allowed to leave.
- Before we entered the stadium we were checked by security guys. All things that could be thrown at opposing fans would be seized. Especially the ladies who carried lipstick or perfume should be aware of that. If we wanted to keep our stuff we should put it in our shoes because there no one would look for it:-)
- On the way there Pado and Paula had tried to teach us some typical Boca songs but my Spanish wasn't good enough to catch the words and repeat them:-(

At about 14:00 we arrived close to the Boca Stadium and walked to our restaurant.

on the way to the Boca Stadium
graffiti is so wonderful in Buenos Aires

our group on the way to the stadium
some in the colors of Boca Juniors
(our teachers didn't recommend to visit the area around the stadium
on our is supposed to be dangerous...)
the Boca Stadium

me, unobtrusively, in front of the stadium:-)
our restaurant
There we were split into different groups and placed at tables from 4 to about 10. I took a seat next to a guy from Chile who told me almost his whole life. His mother was German (in the 2nd generation) and his father Italian. We spoke in English and he also told me that he was going to propose to his girlfriend. When I mentioned he shouldn't speak too loudly (because the girlfriend was sitting next to him) he just smiled and said that she couldn't speak English:-)
Pado, our guide, came to our table and explained that actually it was illegal to drink or sell beer close to the stadium. Therefore he asked us to just wave him when we wanted to have some beer instead of calling loudly for it:-) It was really weird because there were several policemen sitting at tables next to us and the beer in our cups could be seen, but no one really cared about it:-) (For me it was no problem at all because I don't like beer. That fact amused the Chilean guy the most, that I am from Germany and don't like beer:-) He couldn't stop wondering about it:-) ).
Suddenly the blinds of all windows and even though the blinds of the door were closed. I was wondering and asked my Chilean neighbour what was going on. He just said that the Indepentiente fans were passing and to avoid riots they made the Boca fans invisible.

after the blinds went down

our guide Paula was the woman "in the middle" of the
picture with the tattoo on her arm

At 15:15 we went to the stadium. One guy of our group were standing close to a fence in front of our restaurant while the last Independiente fans were passing. I didn't really get what Paula told him but he got definitely crapped on:-)
Passing the security wasn't really difficult. She just searched around my waist and in my jeans pockets and that was all.
When we came up to our standing area the view was incredible. The stadium was really steep and the view and the sound effects were really good.

the view
we were standing in that yellow fan area
The match started at 16:20 and ended at 18:10. Boca Juniors defeated Independiente 2:1 (1:1).
The atmosphere in the stadium was something special. Fans were singing almost the whole time, jumping a lot and being just passionate.
Here are some impressions of the match:

the huge nails on the top of the fence didn't
prevent people from climing over it

the net that should prevent Boca fans from being hit by
things that were thrown down by the Independiente fans

shortly before the kick-off
Dear colleagues: Allianz is present everywhere!!!

we were really surprised by the half naked cheerleaders:
upper part: everything was hidden
bottom part: the butts could be seen almost completely:-)
(just zoom it in:-))

coke and water could be bought during the match
incredible how the vendors managed to carry
the bottles and cups through the crowd
during the match
as I already mentioned:
despite the nails fans were climbing over the fence to
catch a better view
after the match: lots of security were present on the grass

after the match
and some movies:

1) team Independiente coming into the stadium

2) shortly before the kick-off

3) fans were singing, jumping and cheering for their team like this almost non-stop. Just the people around me that were not singing and jumping were from our group:-)

4) and a little bit more of the incredible atmosphere

When the match was over we had to wait about 30 minutes, then we left the stadium and the bus was waiting for us almost in front of the exit.

Remo and I after the match in front of our typical school bus

esculares omnibus
inside the bus:
Pado wearing his blue-yellow fan cap
there was almost no room for our legs...
We were driven through the city and I was completely lost where we were. My stop was one of the last one's and unfortunately Pado had already left the bus when Paula came to me and asked something. Her English was as bad as my Spanish but finally I figured out that she wanted to know where I wanted to get off. I explained that I just needed a subway station (Linea D). After a short discussion with the busdriver she told me to get off and walk one blog to the closest "Subte Station". I hoped that she was right, got off and walked to the station. It wasn't difficult to find the station but the problem was that the station was closed... I was wondering about myself... In Germany I would have been worried or pissed off or at least nervous but in Argentina I stayed calm and relaxed. I tried to figure out where I was (at least I was carrying a map with me) but it was already to dark to read the very tiny streetnames on my map. So I decided to go into the next restaurant and ask for help. No one could speak English in the closest restaurant and so I tried in broken Spanish to make myself understood. One guy gestured into one direction and said something like "one block". I thanked him and walked one block into the direction he had shown me and oh wonder: there was another entrance to the station and that one was open. I bought a ticket, had to wait for about 10 minutes for the next metro and arrived at my bus station at 20:30. Another 20 minutes later my bus came and I was back "at home" at 21:15.
First thing I needed to do was washing my hands (they felt sooo dirty:-)). Victoria was watching a movie and I started warming up my meal and eating before she joined me. She was interested in the match (she had only joined a soccer match once and that was during the World Championships. But that match was boring she said: Switzerland vs Italy).
After the dinner (I was really hungry... I had already thought about buying some snacks in a 24h shop close to the bus station but then I decided to wait for the bus because I wanted to get back as soon as possible.) I checked my emails quickly and blogged a little bit.
At 1:00 a.m. I went to bed after listening to some music for about one hour.

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