Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Highlights of Venezuela!

Top 10 Things We'll Miss

1) The women - My god, Venezuelan women are beautiful. They take care of themselves and they just know how to walk.

2) Polar Ice - Such a cheap, flavorful beer. I think El Cuatro consumed nearly 500 of these during our two weeks there.

3) Guaky - The mascot embodied the spirit of the tournament and was not nearly as cheesy as that damn Leo the lion from Deutschland.

4) Corruption - From getting us beer when it was illegal, to offering us super-powerful chew, corruption only benefited us.

5) The fact that everything cost 33 cents - The official exchange rate is VEB 2150 = $1. The Black Market i.e. the only place you change money offers a rate of VEB 3500 = $1.

6) Y Va Caer - One of my my lasting memories from each of Korea 2002 and Germany 2006 is the stadium songs of the hosts. It is no different for Venezuela 2007 except that the Venezuelan stadium songs had nothing to do with football.

7) Hamburger Stands - It seems like every place has its preferred late night drunk food: In NYC we have pizza, in LA there are tacos and Pink's, in Europe you have Doner Kebab. In Venezuela - you have hamburger stands like Freddy El Negro and Whopper Express.

8) The Random Futbol Fans - James from Ireland, Carrie and Todd from New Mexico, the Gang of Four from New York and Victor from Barinas. Meeting people makes these trips special.

9) Free drinks from prostitutes - One night in Maracaibo 4 American men held the line against a troupe of aggressive prostitutes and scored 3 free rounds of beer. Magic I tell you!

10) The Women - it starts there and ends there.

Top 10 Things We Could Do Without

1) Hugo Chavez and the Chavistas - Wake up. Your vision of socialism will not work. Your country has tasted democracy before and is full of passionate, intelligent people. Equality is a great idea, but let it develop organically. You are pushing your country towards irrelevance.

2) Kasey Keller - Dude, please just retire. You were pretty awesome right through 2005, but you have fallen apart since. Please pass your knowledge on to the next generation and be done with it.

3) Mosquitos - Thy have some nasty, nasty bugs. Luis and I both were receipients of terradactly sized mosquito bites. The bites would welt up and puss like an oozing volcano - not sweet.

4) The Sidewalks - There is no reason for a sidewalk to be more than 4 inches higher than street level. Toes are a good thing.

5) Icebox rooms - On more than one occasion I thought I was going to pull a Hans and soil my sheets. Someone needs to introduce the thermostat to Venezuela.

6) Small Bills - Nobody has them and when you're drinking, you definitely need them. People would get visibly annoyed when you tried to buy a round of beers with 50,000 bolivars.

7) Organization - The ticketing process was as big a clusterfudge as I've ever seen. In the end, all worked out well. However, if we had opted to wait on line in Maracaibo, I'm pretty sure we'd still be waiting for the cop to call out my name.

8) Broken Glass Bottles - Well, not all of us hated them, just Luis as he had a penchance for stepping on them and cutting his feet.

9) ATM's - it took us nearly 10 attempts to figure out that when the machine asks for the first2 digits of your ID number, it really means the last 2 digits of your ID number.

10) Lack of Beer Sales at matches - This is a stupid idea. Stadiums should always sell beer.

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