Living the dream!

A moment lived in Argentina by Cirilo, a traveller from France

Once upon a time, not so long ago (13 years to be exact) I decided to buy my first backpack (and I actually still have it) to hit the road for the first time of my life outside Europe.
During those last few weeks I was talking to my friends about going on a trip and on a Saturday morning, I woke up, passed by the ATM to withdraw 690 € and headed straight to a travel agency to purchase my “pass” to the outside world! I bought an open ticket to Santiago de Chile…Why? I do not know …but what I know is that I landed there on the 26th of May 2003 and damn, it felt sooooooo good!
Nowadays, I always say: “The best thing about traveling is not knowing where you are going, no planning is the key and I said to my friends before leaving that I would go wherever the wind would take me, well…It turned out that it took me to Argentina ! Buenos Aires to be precise, it is a very fast paced city with a population of over 15 millions, the city (as the country in general) is holding some very strong Italian – Spanish roots because of the migration during WWI. It is crazy to be in South America and be able to eat, what is for me, the best Pizza and pasta in the world…Let’s not forget the ice creams, which are a delight and the red meat can be cut only with a spoon as it is so tender.
But the biggest thing in the country is Football! And Buenos Aires is a capital city well known for its best football , there is a huge rivalry between the clubs of the capital! The most famous are Boca Junior where “the god” a.k.a Diego Armando Maradona played in the 80’s, the second biggest one is “River Plate” among some other ones.
While I was in Buenos Aires, I could not stop myself from going to la “Bonbonera” stadium to see a Boca game, and so…I was in for a treat as that year they won La “Copa Libertadores”. For the ones who do not have any clue about what “La Libertadores” is, it is the equivalent of the European Cup of football ! It is simply the “Holy Graal” of football in Latin America ! Later that week, I found myself walking around the city centre not anticipating what I would find that evening.. Just approaching to the “Obelisco” (the spot where Argentinian’s seem to celebrate everything or protest or just gather for any National day or sport victory) I found myself trapped among thousands of Boca hooligans screaming, jumping up and down.. singing “Football songs”.. and the funny thing is that they wanted me to be a part of it.. it almost seemed as I did not have any choice. Now…Close your eyes and imagine a young kid from Europe, not understanding the culture or language very well.. what would you do? you just JUMP! How did I end up this beautiful night? Well the latin way.. riots.. police arrival and hooligans challenging them! It is at this moment that someone took my hand and told me “Corré!!” = ” RUN!!” but… run WHERE?!! Well guess what? 13 years after I am married to an Argentinian Boca fan, and I came back to Boca Stadium more than 6 times already.. VIVA ARGENTINA and their passion for FOOTBALL!

credit photo : Cirilo

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