Last Sunday, after a nice long (and somewhat rainy) walk along the Cinta Costera, the roommates and I decided to stop at a little outdoor seafood restaurant for some beer and snacks.
We also happened to catch the end of the Costa Rica-Greece game. Football (or soccer as we Americans call it) seems to be quite a popular sport here in Panamá. And now during the world cup, bars, restaurants, malls, anywhere with a tv is bound to be surrounded by a crowd, cheering for their favorite team. At the restaurant, we just happened to sit near a table of people from Costa Rica, who pounded the table in excitement and cheered at every small victory. Having had a life-changing experience in Costa Rica myself, I of course rooted for them as well. We ordered a round of Panamás, a few plates of spiced shrimp and french fries, and got into the game. Tension was high as the game went into overtime with Costa Rica and Greece tied at 1-1. Side note here: I have had some incredibly delicious seafood while in Panamá. Corvina filet, shrimp, ceviche, fresh caught peacock bass (not technically seafood, a freshwater sport fish), yum yum and more yum! However, as I learned from a recent article from STRI, Panamás waters will lose their incredible bounty if stricter laws and monitoring efforts are not soon put into place. Anyhow, back to the game. For anyone that knows me well, you know that I am pretty open about my apathy for sports. I just get kind of…bored, attempting to watch sports. Unless of course it’s a Cubs game, especially if I’m watching it in person. But, I digress. As the game went into overtime, and penalty(?) shots were kicked between the teams, I was on the edge of my seat, knowing that any miss by Costa Rica could mean their loss. Suddenly, a miss by Greece. Then, gooooooaaaaaaaaaal Costa Rica! Yes, they really do say ‘Goal!’ super drawn out with a pretty impressive tongue roll at the end. It is amazing. When Greece missed their second shot, the crowd roared and the Costa Ricans at the table near by jumped up and screamed!
It seemed almost instantaneous that once the cheering subsided, super load dance music started playing. Which was actually pretty cool. Our feet were sore, our clothes were wet from rain, and I had a pretty substantial blíster forming but all in all it was quite a delightful afternoon. And there I was, the avid sports non-fan, super excited and celebrating a soccer win. Well, not quite as excited as this guy…
but you get the idea. For me it was a brand new experience. Learning a lot here.