Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Last night, I went to my first Mexican baseball game with the Oaxaca 'Guerreros' playing the Veracruz Eagles. The home town boys got creamed, 14-7. But, who cares? It was a spectacular night to be at the ballpark, just the right temps with a light breeze. I hung out with some other Americans from the gringo library.

They enjoyed fairly light attendance...not even a quarter of the seats filled. Which may be a hangover from the flu epidemic, folks being shy of large public gatherings. Or the horrible economy. Or the lousy team. The front page of the local paper's sports section carried the headline, "Guerreros ask for absolution."

Game play was the same as American baseball, in fact the team is an official Minor League Baseball team. They start the game with the announcer announcing, "play ball." Not in Spanish, in English. And "home run" gets translated into one word: "hon-ron." It makes me chuckle to hear it. The program/stats sheet they give you when you walk into the park is titled "HOME PLATE" (in English) and the headline was "now, to improve!" I gives you the idea right up front that this isn't going to be a burn-down-the-barn kind of ball game.

Of course, the main reason anyone goes to a ball game isn't to watch the game. Silly! It's an excuse to eat and drink. Mexican games are no different. Plenty of beer was flowing (Corona, NOT Budweiser). And instead of hot dogs, we had Lupe selling her famous homemade empanadas. A parallel here: what goes into an American hot don't want to know. What goes into Lupe's empandada...your guess is as good as mine. But they sure were "sabroso" (tasty). Then there was the guy walking around selling a tray-full of tacos on little plates, the guy selling peanuts (not shelled in bags, but scooped loose with hot sauce on top). Even a Domino's pizza guy made the rounds. Since I don't eat it in the U.S., decided to skip it in Mexico. Lupe's empanadas were a better choice. No heartburn.

Today, I got up and went over to the shelter for street kids, where I've been volunteering. Fun! We did little English learning games. Each day, there is at least one kid who really, really wants to learn. That's encouraging.

After volunteering, I went over to the American library and hung out, chatted. There I made a new friend, and we went out to lunch down on the town square. Terrific food, great company. Then I walked over to look at an apartment for rent. (Nice, but a bit expensive). At 5, I had a session with the college girl I'm tutoring. And at 6, I joined a meditation group (5) at a yoga studio in Conzatti Park.