A week in Colombia – Wednesday
It rained last night, freshening things up. It is so green and lush here I figured it must rain at some point, but this was the first we’d seen for a couple of weeks. Usually on a Wednesday we go to the cinema as it is half price day. Last week we saw The Revenant (not impressed) and decided to push the boat out by buying the premium seats. Tickets were £1.80 each. Tonight however we are going to a premiership match. We are currently staying less than 10 minutes walk from the stadium and some friends have got us ticket somewhere inside for £6 each. The tickets allow entrance to a section of the terraces and it’s a free for all as to which seats you grab within that section.
We have just come back from the game, a 2-0 win for Medellin. We were searched going into the complex – which is huge, containing the stadium plus fitness studios, swimming pools and many catering outlets. We were searched again going through the turnstiles and once through were given t-shirts in the home team colours and logos. If the terraces weren’t going to look a sea of red anyway, they certainly were now. We found six empty seats, in the second tier along the side, at the end where the hardcore fans are behind the goal. Perfect. Both before and throughout the game vendors wandered through every section of the stadium selling ice-cream, popcorn, water, sodas, hot sandwiches, crisps and beer. Of those the cheapest item was beer, at 60p per plastic glass – roughly a pint size.
The game was ok, not a fantastic standard, but featured two good goals. The fans, on the other hand, were awesome. Led by drummers and trumpeters they jumped, waved hands and sang songs non-stop for just about two hours. It really didn’t matter what was happening on the pitch, they carried on regardless. The disconnect between them and the game kind of nullified those peaks of excitement you get at English games but in turn there was no concept of ‘silencing the fans’ – these guys were on a non-stop party no matter what!
After the match thousands of fans poured out of the stadium, having had the chance to drink as much as they wanted for hours previously. Hundreds and hundreds of them had to get into long queues for the metro. Both Thomas and I remarked how relaxed everybody seemed. There was not even a hint of aggression in the air. Everyone was just so, well, nice to each other. All in all a very civilised affair indeed.
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