Picture this: The opportunity to witness firsthand the hostile rivalry between the Barcelona and Madrid soccer teams. A summer touring the Barcelona countryside, learning the delicate art of legal drinking. Sounds like a utopia for any American college student, right? Add in a Barcelona victory and a region known for its cheap beer and raunchy nightclubs, and you may have an expat in the making.
But on the night of the Champions League final between Barcelona and Real Madrid, I found myself on a farm/Eco-Hotel in the Cataluña region of Spain where I WWOOFed for the summer. The family which ran the hotel was hosting a special dinner for those who planned to watch the game. Depending on the outcome, the group would later head into town either to celebrate or commiserate.
And so it began, with the whole room focused on a small TV screen. To be honest, I had little interest in the game itself, and my eyes soon began to wander. I found myself more interested in Mar, my new 5-year-old companion who had convinced my friend and I to join him in the Spanish version of Chutes and Ladders. Mar was quite the competitor, shouting angrily anytime I jumped a square.
Time passed. By the time my friend and I realized that the soccer game had ended, our host family had left to join in the festivities. Our only option was to go to bed early, and our evening of expected debauchery ended earlier than a school night.
Question: How many Americans does it take to finish a soccer game? Apparently more than two, especially if Chutes and Ladders are involved.