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Jugando al fúvol.

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Hay diferencias básicas. Hay cosas que pueden ser parecidas pero que no son iguales. Eso es lo que pasa entre el fútbol y el fúvol. Son parecidos, pero no iguales.

En mi pequeño país nos jactamos de nuestra ¨gloria per capita¨ en cuanto a fútbol se trata. Ya en otro post lo comentaba: somos un pedacito de tierra al sur de América del Sur donde el fútbol es pasión y esa pasión se ha reflejado en numerosos éxitos del deporte. Dos Mundiales, dos Juegos Olimpicos, 15 Copas Americas, el reciente cuarto puesto en la ultima Copa, los jugadores de nuestra selección parte de los planteles de élite de Europa…Todas cosas de las que nos sentimos (y con derecho!) orgullosos.

A nivel de clubes, la mayoria de los tres millones tenemos nuestro corazón ya sea con Nacional o Peñarol. Ambos son gigantes de la historia de América Latina y del planeta fútbol. También de esto nos sentimos orgullosos. Es parte de nuestro acervo.

Después esta el fúvol

El fúvol es una mutación genética del futbol. Es lo que sucede en partidos como el de hoy entre Nacional y Peñarol. No es sólo la calidad de lo que se juega, sino a lo que se juega.

Ya ni siquiera hablo de hacer entretenido el espectáculo: eso dejó de ser prioridad en la Liga Uruguaya desde que nos convertimos en exportadores netos de talento y cada jugador busca hacer la suya y ¨conseguir el pase¨. Lo único que pido, como tantos otros miles, es que al menos conserven ese poquito de integridad y no se caguen a trompadas.

Vivimos en un país hipócrita donde por un lado nos golpeamos el pecho con los derechos de la mujer y la violencia de genero y votamos cuota de paralamentarias, y cuota de minorias para nuevos empleos y hacemos un lío gigantesco si vemos un video de un grupo de mujeres pegandole a otra… los ejemplos siguen.

Pero luego vamos al fúvol. Ah si si, el fúvol nuestro de cada día. Si no es algún imbécil que esta en la tribuna son los jugadores, los mismos que salen en anuncios y que hablan del ¨fer plei¨ y de evitar la violencia en las canchas. Fueron ellos los que hoy, que se cagaron a trompadas en un clasico de verano.

Y luego hablamos del deterioro de la sociedad, que cada vez estamos peor, que la inseguridad, que la mar en coche. Que cómo puede ser que siendo tan poquitos como somos y los energumenos aún menos no se los pueda identificar.

Pero serán tan pocos? Me juego la plata que no tengo que hoy en el Estadio a más de un padre de familia,  a más de un profesional educado y temeroso de Dios se le caía la baba mirando la trifulca y dejó los pulmones gritando pegue!, pegue!, pegue!

Cuantos se levantaron y se fueron? Cuantos le explicaron a sus hijos, en ese maravilloso momento, que lo que estaban viendo era una verdadera mierda, un cancer; fúvol?

Alla vendrá alguno a decir que el fúvol es un síntoma mas de la sociedad que reproduce lo que ya está. No sé, puede ser. No me importa.

Lo que me importa es que luego buscamos al taradito que saca una punta y apuñala a otro porque tiene una remera de colores diferentes a los que a él le gustan. Porque entiende, como entienden muchos de sus ídolos que corren atras de una globa de cuero, que es así como se demuestra el apoyo, lo macho, la hombría y la pasión hacia “el clú”. Pero nadie, nadie mira para adentro, no sea cosa que lo tilden de cagón, o peor aún, de tener poco huevo y menos aguante con ¨el clú¨.

Y seguiremos así, viendo como se juega al fúvol, y jugando a fúvol nosotros mismos en nuestra vida polarizandonos y perdiendo la tolerancia y los códigos, eso que sí nos hace damas y caballeros.

Soy un apasionado de este deporte y no hace falta rascar mucho para saber que colores me tiran. Voy al Estadio casi en un 99% de los partidos y siempre discutía con mi viejo porque nunca podía llevarlo. Hace años que dejó de ir. Hoy, a miles de kms de esa gloriosa cancha, te entiendo un poco más viejo.

Mi viejo, con 70 pirulos, se cansó de ver fúvol.

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Meeting another Latinamerican. Assignment 6e

Imagine yourself in a different country where nobody speaks your language. Imagine living there for some months and then, out of the blue, you meet another English speaker. Not only that: the stranger is also from North America!

Having visited the U.S for several times, I was used to finding Latin Americans almost everywhere. When I was living in Europe, it was harder, but  you could still do it if you knew where to search. Here in Canada it’s way much more difficult. Official statistics situate the Latin American population in Canada in 1.2% of it’s total, although illegal immigration is not counted)

So, imagine my shock when at a formal dinner and I was introduced to a couple, both Peruvians. I can stop that moment and analyze it in slow motion: the pupil dilatation, the instant smile coming trough and the dopamine increasing at exponential levels in my system as I was thrilled by excitement. Read more…

Winter is coming Assignment 5d

photo-toronto-ttc-clrv-streetcar-in-beautiful-snow-flurry-edited-from-tom-purves-photostreamThis is serious stuff. I’m afraid that not even the excitement of seeing everything covered in snow and having snowball fights can take away from me the despair of knowing it will get really cold.

No, I don’t live in a tropical country and Uruguay is not a warm place all year round. We have our proper winter, with temperatures dropping to -5 C But it’s a different type of cold. And here we are in autumn. Autumn! And the temperatures haver already dropped to those figures.

Read more…

Little contradictions. Assignment 4c

Having come from a far, far away country, I have noticed some cultural differences that pop out in everyday life; here is an executive summary of them

  • Bags in stores: No, you don’t have to leave your bag, backpack, or big purse in any locker when you enter a store. Even if that bag contains products sold by that shop. Bang! Third world culture arises: in Latinamerica there is no trust in people because people will steal from your shop.
  • Salsa dancer: no, I DON’T dance salsa. No, I don’t like merengue. No, I’m not fond of Caribbean music. You know why? Because Uruguay is thousands of miles away from the Caribbean. I love electronic music, and lots of people in Uruguay like other types of music like rock.

cuban-fury-1 Read more…

What’s the big deal about soccer anyway? Assignment 3d

If there is one thing that makes a clear difference between Canadians and Latin Americans it is soccer. More than language, weather or political opinions, soccer is one of the biggest cultural differences we have. Because while for you it may be just another sport, and even a minor one compared to hockey or American Football, for us soccer (which I will call football from now on) is a fundamental part of our lives.

I’m not exaggerating. Culturally, football has an extremely important weight in our countries. It represents much more than a simple sport played on a field. It has a very powerful historical and cultural influence in our  societies.

“Well, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very boring sport. Tell me: how can any sport that ends with no score at all be entertaining?”

Read more…

Black squirrels: the best tourist detector Assignment 2e

Did you see that? It’s a black squirrel! It’s a black squirrel! Yeah… so?? Well, that’s the point: for almost 80% of the rest of the world, black squirrels are something extremely rare, even a myth.

There are many ways of recognizing a tourist or a recently arrived foreigner:  big cameras, socks and flip-flops combination, the way the look up to every building without bothering to see if they bump into someone…

But here in Canada there is a much more effective way: black squirrels.

Read more…

Are canadians welcoming? Vote!

How to “survive” without Internet: do you dare to disconnect? Assignment 1d

Imagine your life just how it is. Now imagine it without Internet. Would it still be the same life? Well, that’s what happened to me by a series of circumstances, and this blog is what I learned from it.

So I’m sitting in my living room writing in my laptop an entry for this blog. At the same time I’m arranging a meeting with some newly made friends to go out for a drink later this evening. In the meantime, I will connect to Skype to chat with my parents, back in Uruguay while I read some of my countries newspapers.

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Like many of you, I can’t live without being connected. But also like many of you I didn’t realize that until I was forced to disconnect from the information/communication plug the internet has become to most of us.

“I’m so sorry, but for your Wi-Fi account you will have to wait until Monday, when you register to the UofT” the porter of the College  told me while I was struggling up the steep staircase that led to my room.

-Oh, three days, that’s not a problem- my naïve brain told me.

Reality proved me wrong, again.

And so, I unpacked, got myself organized and grabbed a bite. I checked at my watch and saw It was a right time to call to Uruguay, the country I had left 20 hours ago. I took my cellphone and realized that calling from it would be possible, but the rates of doing that will be kidney selling ones.  ‘I have to buy a Canadian cell phone’ I noted to myself, while I was turning on the laptop to search for my people on Skype.

After six troubleshooting attempts I finally understood what the porter was saying to me: I had no Internet, I was alone in the dark, disconnected, feeling pretty much like Tom Hanks on that island but with no volleyball to draw a face on it.

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I calmed myself: “there is nothing to worry about, it’s just three days without internet 24/7, you can make it”. Then I converted that into hours, and that into minutes. And there I freaked out. How was I supposed to live, even to breath without reading the latest news, tweeting something, listening to music or gossiping my 1.200 Facebook friends´ statuses?

I went for a walk. The day was fine and I decided to take a picture and upload it, but my cell phone reminded me again of this little detail of not having internet. I went for a coffee and there I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the glimpse of hope among all despair: “free Wi-Fi”.

I almost cried at the sign, while the people going in and out of that Tim Hortons looked at me… and stepped away. I entered the store, bought a latte and prepared myself to get back to my true love: I stayed in that coffee shop for hours. Talked to my relatives and friends, did some work and then dedicated the next 90% of the time I was there to procrastination. Surfing from one cat video to another, debating over important issues such as who would win in a fight between a tiger or a lion and attempting to reach level 93 in candy crash.

When I returned to my room and my isolation I realized that I spent my first day in Canada between four walls of a coffee store. Even worse, if I was asked the hair color of the waiter who sold me 4 cups of coffee, I wouldn’t be able to reply it accurately.. brownishiblondish? What a journalist eh!

And that’s was the moment I decided to do an experiment: be an non communicative journalist for the next two days. No cell phone, no Internet, no camera. I went back to Tim Hortons (brunette, her hair was brunette) and sent an almost farewell email to my friends and family telling them about my next 48 hours away from a screen.

  • Rehab

Things resulted better than expected: I walked for hours, just watching, contemplating and enjoying. I realized it has been a long time since I didn’t looked at a beautiful landscape, or an impressive building or something funny or a cute dog without taking off my cell phone and taking a picture of it. I discover myself several times reaching my front pocket to take it out, as an automatic reflex.

This symptom showed particularly strong when I was eating. I would sat at the table, see the incredible dish I was about to devour and instantly thought: this needs a picture! I also had the opportunity to observe other people and their behaviors bending down over a 4 inches screen tweeting the next new thing… and I realized I would be just like that in any other situation.

The two days went by smoothly. I met new people and was amused to see their faces when I told them I didn’t had a cell phone yet. When Monday came and I obtained my Wi-Fi account I sat down in front of my laptop prepared to spend hours catching up with all the things I missed in two days of disconnection.

But you know what? I needed just 20 minutes to get over the important stuff (mails, and some interesting news). And this is my learning experience that I share with you: nothing really happens if you get away for a while from the web! Trust me, I’ve done it, you may suffer a bit the first hours, but then you can calmly enjoy other pleasures of life and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all other media will be there (looking almost exactly the same) when you decide to turn back.

I’m not making an anti social-media statement, get that clear (I’m actually addressing to you by this mean right?) but I’m encouraging all of you readers to turn off your devices for 24, or 48 hours and experience the sensations of a pre 1990 world.

So, turn it off, and see you in two days from now. Comment here and let me know how it went!

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