World Cup: rooting for the wish-it-were-my-home team

Watching the Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina gameAfter a highly unpleasant Friday and Saturday (which did end in good news, at least), Sunday was a breath of fresh air. Spent Father’s Day in Princeton with my family, the highlight of which was taking selfies with my two year-old niece. Then headed back to the city for the Argentina v. Bosnia-Herzegovina World Cup game at Novecento, an Argentine bar and restaurant in Soho.

Watching the Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina game

After waiting outside for more than an hour, my friend Lisa and I managed to snag a table and immediately made friends with a guy named Pablo who was decked out in an Argentina jersey and whose parents are from Mendoza. I told him I was here not because I am Argentine myself but because I had been to Argentina for a measly two weeks in February, loved every second of it, and just wanted to be amongst Argentines again. Even though I felt a little foolish admitting I was a wannabe, he approved and we got along great.

Watching the Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina game

The game was awesome in that BIH scored against themselves within 3 minutes, and Argentina held the lead for the rest of the game. The adorable, bedimpled, cartoon-like elfin cutie Lionel Messi scored a goal in the second half, and then BIH scored a goal towards the end, and then there was a nail-biting ten minutes of praying the game would not be tied up and go into overtime. It didn’t, and everyone was joyous.

Watching the Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina game

Being amongst people whose country you are deeply enamored of, while they are winning their beloved game and everyone is best friends with everyone else, is a pretty amazing thing. I knew that if I went it would reaffirm my commitment to learn French and Spanish and that it would motivate me to pick up where I left off about a month ago. And it did. I went home and watched an episode of Destinos, the telenovela for Spanish novices that is actually quite engaging in a strange and silly way.

Additional delights of Sunday at Novecento: I ate a huge hunk of lomo, or beef tenderloin, my steak of choice in Buenos Aires. I admired legions of handsome Argentine men both in the bar and on the soccer field. And I decided there would be worse things you could do than making Argentina your adopted homeland and blowing all your vacation funds visiting on a yearly basis. Thinking perhaps next February will find me hang-gliding in Cordoba or hiking in Patagonia…

¿Quién sabe lo que nos depara el futuro?

[I cheated and did that in Google Translate so I have no idea if it is nonsense or not.]

One thing I do know: next Saturday will find me back at Novecento for brunch and the Argentina v. Iran game. Vamos vamos Argentina!

Watching the Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina gameThat’s me in the foreground and my new buddy Pablo behind me. The fuzzy focus captures my warm fuzzy feeling. 🙂

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