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Bubba

Jun 22, 2006, 11:51 AM

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Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Yesterday (Wednesday) morning seemed like a good time to take care of some things that have been pending so we took the opportuniuty to drive over to our municipal hall to kill three birds with one stone. First, we were planning to meet with the head of the catastro to resolve some property tax problem that had proven difficult to resolve in the lower ranks of that office, then we were planning to meet with the immigration people to begin the annual renewal of our FM-2 Visas. After those two issue were handled, we were heading over to DIF to get my INSEN discount card for old goobers so the day began with auspicious plans.

In order to be as efficient as possible, we planned to arrive at city hall at 10:00AM so that my wife could meet with the head of catrastro while I chose a spot in line to await a meeting with the immigration people who were supposed to open their offices at the normal 9:00AM. Oddly, the head of the catastro was in a meeting of indefinite duration with the president of the municipality and the immigration office had posted that they would not be opening until 11:00AM - an unheard of delay. So we walked over to the DIF offices only to find the office and the streets leading to it to be strangly deserted like one of those old science fiction movies of the 1950s.

Then, suddenly, it dawned on us. Mexico and Portugal were playing their World Cup match and, except for the occasional roar coming into the street from various bars, restaurants and billard parlors we passed in our walk, the town was oddly silent. There was even ample parking just about anywhere.

Of course, we took all this in stride since we have lived down here long enough to know that these sorts of things are to be expected hereabouts and, more importantly, that just because absolutely no one was doing a lick of work anywhere in the municipal complex or DIF offices. that fact did not mean that, during this unofficial hiatus in the normal operations of governmental functionaries, there would, in reality, be any actual loss whatsoever in normal productivity. We were correct of course and added to our list of things to do about an hour of sipping espressos and capuchinos while reading the local press and, upon having thereby refreshed ourselves, we set about our original chores immediately after the game ended and got it all done in record time.

The fact that Mexico lost the game to Portugal seemed to have no detrimental effect on morale in the community and it was almost as if the game never actually occurred. Everyone had rallied together in a marvelous display of patriotism and team spirit but, the minute their team was eliminated, it was back to life as usual without the resultant wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. This was quite refreshing to me as an Alabama boy since, had that been an American football game played out on the community television screens of, say, Birmingham and with the Alabama team playing for a spot in a world championship, had the local team lost, the whole community would have been plunged into this deep depression as if the meaning of life itself had been thrown into doubt.

I was reminded again how pleased I am that I chose Mexico as a retirement home. Thanks to Mexico´s loss, the crowds of drunk soccer fans around the Minerva Glorieta can go home and stop obstructing traffic and we can all look forward to 2010 when the Mexican team can disappoint us again. Meanwhile, back in Birmingham or Lincoln or Terre Haute they are still crying in their beer over nothing.



Ed and Fran

Jun 22, 2006, 12:01 PM

Post #2 of 23 (7433 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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The fact that Mexico lost the game to Portugal seemed to have no detrimental effect on morale in the community and it was almost as if the game never actually occurred. Everyone had rallied together in a marvelous display of patriotism and team spirit but, the minute their team was eliminated, it was back to life as usual without the resultant wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth.


That display of stoic community spirit had nothing to do with the local culture and everything to do with the fact that even though they lost, they still passed on to the next round on the basis of their one win and one tie.

Regards

E&F


Bubba

Jun 22, 2006, 12:55 PM

Post #3 of 23 (7424 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Be that as it may, when they are finally eliminated as they will be, I do not expect too many tears to dilute the beer. You may not have lived in a place where defeat, even interim defeat, is never accepted, Ed & Fran, but I promise you the attitude is very different. However, that was not the point of my post. Perhaps I mislead you. I was making fun of the bureaucrats in the municipality of Chapala. I guess I was being a bit obscure.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jun 22, 2006, 1:01 PM)


Marta R

Jun 22, 2006, 2:09 PM

Post #4 of 23 (7407 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a young Mayan friend and asked him about the World Soccer Cup and Mexico's chances. He grinned and said, "We always lose!" So I asked him if he was going to watch anyway and he said "Of course!" as though I had suggested the unthinkable.

Marta


Ed and Fran

Jun 22, 2006, 2:19 PM

Post #5 of 23 (7402 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Perhaps I mislead you. I was making fun of the bureaucrats in the municipality of Chapala. I guess I was being a bit obscure.

Or I was just being slow, right after the comida and all. ;-)

Of course it could be that the level of inactivity during the game that you noticed in the local Presidencia Municipal in Chapala is about par for the course down here in the lesser provinces. So that seemed perfectly natural to me.

Unfortunately, the U.S. team didn't even have the good fortune to move on to the next round after their loss to Ghana. Better luck in 2010.


caldwelld


Jun 23, 2006, 6:28 AM

Post #6 of 23 (7329 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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The lack of emotion was indeed due to the fact that Mx was going thru to the second round, regardless. The next loss (in all likelihood to Argentina) will be taken more personally and while it may not result in a general and collective national funk it will be carefully added to the Mexican psyche and that will manifest itself firstly in the coach being summarily fired, largely due to public pressure for his head.

But your general observation is correct, although not unique to Mx. What is unique in the world is the US national's general insistence on not losing, ever. And yes, we might all be a bit better off if this were not so true. Other countries do not take the fate of their national teams quite as seriously. After all it is just a game.
dondon


sfmacaws


Jun 23, 2006, 1:31 PM

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Re: [caldwelld] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Quote
Other countries do not take the fate of their national teams quite as seriously. After all it is just a game.


You have to be kidding? Is this why the constant riots at soccer games in Europe? The level of violence at soccer games in Europe is unmatched, as far as I can tell, in the rest of the world.


Bubba: Roll On!


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




wendy devlin

Jun 23, 2006, 6:59 PM

Post #8 of 23 (7227 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Well, I'm greatly heartened to hear all the soccer 'chat' on this forum.
Mistakely I thought arbon and I among the few, gettting up at 5;30 a.m. each morning to tape the first game.

Mercifully this past few days the games have started at 7:00 a.m. our time.
Of course we will be cheering for Mexico tomorrow.
¡México!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However if I was a betting woman...
Don't cry for me, Argentina:)

Sure beats the many years before when there was zilch World Cup coverage on our local networks, followed by broad-casting a few games in the middle of the night.

We've come a long ways, baby:)


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Jun 23, 2006, 7:00 PM)


pipjane


Jun 23, 2006, 7:36 PM

Post #9 of 23 (7207 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Ah, but the level of violence at (actually it's mainly after) FOOTBALL games in Europe has little to do with the result of the game. We don't mind losing, in fact the English have got used to it. We just drink far too much and enjoy a punch up - historically it has always been so - for hundreds of years. The English fans have quietened down considerably, though - perhaps we're becoming civilised at last, and very few are being arrested in Germany. Mainland European fans are pretty violent these days though, especially Eastern Europeans - but it doesn't have much to do with losing or winning!
Pip


Bubba

Jun 24, 2006, 10:02 AM

Post #10 of 23 (7141 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Well, Jonna, it´s one thing to get drunk and engage in rioting and other anti-social behavior, a fine European tradition, it is another to become absessed with winning and losing to the point that, between seasons, most of a community of over 4,000,000 people (Alabama) broods incessantly on the losses. I´ve news for those of you who have not experienced this depressing mind-set. If the Alabama football team loses to Auburn during the regular season, they can go on to become champions of the universe and they will still obsess on that loss ad nauseum to the point that it becomes ludicrous.

I repeat, I was making fun of Chapala bureacrats in my initial post and regret my little aside about sports in Alabama which was a misguided attempt to be funny and make fun of people in my home state. I confused the issue.


Georgia


Jun 25, 2006, 8:41 AM

Post #11 of 23 (7063 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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....and let's not forget the war that was fought in South America (was it between Bolivia and Peru??? don't remember ... too many wars) over the outcome of a soccer game.


Bloviator

Jun 25, 2006, 9:19 AM

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Re: [caldwelld] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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There was quite a bit more talk on sports radio and in the newspapers in SoCal than I expected. It centered around the total futility of the US team - one goal and another inadvertant goal by an Italian player for the US in three matches. The discussion also included a lot of discussion of the lack of a national effort by the US in world soccer.


Chumley

Jun 26, 2006, 5:19 AM

Post #13 of 23 (6989 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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It was 1969, and the war was between El Salvador and Honduras.


drfugawe


Jun 26, 2006, 7:08 AM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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dlyman6500 wrote: "The discussion also included a lot of discussion of the lack of a national effort by the US in world soccer."
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I've always believed that one reason why soccer is the world's most popular sport is that the US is so lousy at it! Sort of a world balance of power thing. Additionally, I think it helps the collective ego of the US to be reminded periodically that they are not "world champions" of every sport.
jm
_________________________

"Self-respect: the secure feeling
that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
H.L. Mencken
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arbon

Jun 26, 2006, 8:42 AM

Post #15 of 23 (6941 views)

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Re: [drfugawe] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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"Additionally, I think it helps the collective ego of the US to be reminded periodically that they are not "world champions" of every sport."

I don't remember the U.S. being "World" champions at any "World" sport.

But I think you have a good idea why the U.S. developed "National" sports that are/were not played in the other "World".

(like being in a "World" of your own) Eh.

"I've always believed that one reason why soccer is the world's most popular sport is that the US is so lousy at it! Sort of a world balance of power thing."
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arbon

Jun 26, 2006, 4:42 PM

Post #16 of 23 (6879 views)

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Re: [arbon] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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The Simpsons do Mexico V Portugal @

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-E6weZIdG8
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drfugawe


Jun 27, 2006, 5:03 AM

Post #17 of 23 (6822 views)

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Re: [arbon] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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arbon wrote: "I don't remember the U.S. being "World" champions at any "World" sport."
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Probably because you've been gone too long - two hours of ESPN should correct that!
jm
_________________________

"Self-respect: the secure feeling
that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
H.L. Mencken
____________###



Bloviator

Jun 27, 2006, 5:47 AM

Post #18 of 23 (6813 views)

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Re: [drfugawe] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Reading this morning about the screwing Australia got against Italy and the way World Cup matches are decided by the officials abetted by the referees before they are played, makes me wonder if it is worth all the bother to get informed and knowledgable about soccer.


caldwelld


Jun 27, 2006, 7:10 AM

Post #19 of 23 (6791 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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I want to quickly join the reference to concern over the officiating in the Australia - Italy World Cup game and the (totally unrelated) game fixing being prosecuted in the Italian soccer league, (and for which players and team officials will likely do jail time). I like that these two ideas were put together in the same sentence to justify non-interest in the most beautiful sport in the world. Reminds one of Fox news. A bit like the notion that a war in a couple of unimportant LAmerican countries was actually about soccer.

The US is indeed lucky not to be obsessed with this ugly sport called soccer and all of the associated polemic with which it is so obviuosly riddled. Certainly there has never been a sport played in the US where officiating was questioned. And I believe this is the first time their has ever been any controversy over officiating at an important international game. And the US is really lucky not to ever have had any "fixing" done in any of their sports. And certainly it is true I am sure that the rest of the world plays this sport just to get under the skin of the US. (No wait a minute wasn't this soccer popularised in 16th century England?)

No matter it is clearly a sport of no interest to US people because they cannot play it well. Aren't we the best at Basketball (Serbs), Hockey (Sweeds), Baseball (Japan).

Soccer is played by more kids in the US than any other sport.
dondon


Rolly


Jun 27, 2006, 7:57 AM

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Re: [caldwelld] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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"And I believe this is the first time their has ever been any controversy over officiating at an important international game"

What about boxing at the Olympics in Soul? There was a hell of an uproar over the Korean judges favoring the Korean boxers.

Rolly Pirate


caldwelld


Jun 27, 2006, 8:25 AM

Post #21 of 23 (6768 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Sarcasm, Rolly. You are one of the last people I expected not to get it.

And to maintain soccer and the Mx connection before we get zapped: Mexico will decide the fate of le Volpe the DT (coach) of the Mx national team on July 30. There is no question in my mind that he will be fired. For one he is an Argentine national and the Mx fans never have really accepted that fact very well. He only got them to the second round - almost by default given the light gtoup that they drew. And given the level of the game here most Mx just think it is time to draw one form their own.
dondon


Rolly


Jun 27, 2006, 8:30 AM

Post #22 of 23 (6766 views)

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Re: [caldwelld] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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Oops. I guess I got up too early this morning. I need a siesta.

Rolly Pirate


arbon

Jun 27, 2006, 9:28 AM

Post #23 of 23 (6755 views)

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Re: [drfugawe] Life in Mexico/Loathing in Birmingham

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"Probably because you've been gone too long - two hours of ESPN should correct that!"

I have never lived in that "World" I have always lived in the "Real World".
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