Tour Stop 6: Ay Carumba!

Game 11, Mexico vs. Angola
Ay Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

June 16 , 2006

wcmex2.jpgSince it was Friday and since it was a nice hot day here in central Connecticut, Ed and I figured that we simply had to take in the Mexico vs. Angola game at a true Mexican cantina. Now, Hartford has a massive Hispanic population, but they are mostly Puerto Ricans here. If Puerto Rico ever makes the World Cup finals, Hartford will have to declare a state holiday.

Ed and I met up at Ay Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant and Cantina on Franklin Avenue. Despite the totally cheesy name, this place is authentic – owned, staffed, and patronized by Mexicans. The place is also quite large and very nice inside. Even better, beers were 2 for 1 during the game. Ay chihuahua indeed.

The game progressed and Mexico had a ton of chances to score but had nothing to show for it at halftime. The crowd, of which Ed and I stood out like… well, like two tall northern European dudes who just came from corporate jobs amongst 50 or so short day-laborer Mexican guys. Oh yeah – and we were snapping pictures too, which didn’t exactly endear us to our new amigos.

You see, since our country is building a freaking wall along the Mexican border, apparently that’s not going over too well in the Mexican-American community. (Chanting “Osama” at our national soccer team is a unique way to express their outrage)I never felt uncomfortable, but I also didn’t turn around and snap a group photo of the 25 guys behind us either. We were asked what we were doing (which I expected) so I simply told them we were with the INS and snapping pictures to document illegal aliens. That’s when I learned sarcasm doesn’t translate so well.

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Anyway, at halftime and the score knotted at 0-0, Ed and I realized that we’d yet to see a goal scored for the team we were “rooting” for on one of our excursions. (We missed the early Portuguese goal last weekend.) We kept our curse to ourselves and enjoyed a meta-moment when an advertisement for the very restaurant we were in aired on Univision. Ed, a novice to the world of photo-blogging, fumbled and bumbled around with his new camera for the entire 30-second ad and ended up with 6 pictures of the floor. Ay-yi-yi… gringo stupido.

The game ended 0-0 and the crowd was thoroughly unexcited. We were getting more glares and grumbles so we simply paid our bill and hit the road. I really wanted to shout, “Viva la Revolucion!” Or, “Viva la Raza!” Or something like that to show our appreciacion, por favor, but alas, I did not. Muy, mucho scared.

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Ok, so this guy and his hair play for Angola. Boy, he’s crazy!”

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Yup. His name really is “Loco.”

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There was apparently a Mexican dignitary on hand.

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Such a cute little senorita.

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W’s future ambassadorship

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Just some Mexican beer I’d never heard of.

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There were lots of guys there, but after this picture, I stopped trying.

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But nothing would stop Ed from enjoying his fiery shrimp!

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I went through (one of) Hartford’s worst areas (Frog Hollow) to get home and came across a gas station selling gas for about 17 cents cheaper than anywhere else ($3.01). Check out the old school pumps. I didn’t get offered heroin and I didn’t hear any gunshots. Ole!

The next day, Damian cheered on Iran and Ghana…

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