Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Neighbors North And South

Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to mingle with our neighbors to the north and to the south. To the north, when my wife and I drove to Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, to take the Agawa Canyon train tour. To the south, when the boys and I rode down to Columbus, Ohio to watch the World Cup soccer qualifying showdown between Mexico and the U.S.

I posted a couple pictures here that piqued my curiosity. Check out the sign on the lunch wagon. Fresh cut fries. Mmmmmmm, I couldn't pass these by. In fact, I booked a room at the hotel in Canada where stood this establishment. Besides the fresh cut fries, you can see the menu offers some of the traditional fast food fare, though I doubt you'll find peameal bacon on a bun at any McDonalds. But what the heck is poutine?

Of course, I asked the counter attendant just that. Turns out that poutine is fresh cut fries, smothered in gravy, with cheese topping. Good god! Heart attack on a paper plate, right? What's up with those Canadians? They might as well throw in some deep-fried bacon and drizzle some butterfat over it too. There's nothing like feeling the ole blood congeal in your veins while you're eating. And what's with Canadians and gravy anyway? I published a blog a while back about encountering a restaurant in Quebec where burgers and chicken sandwiches were served smothered in gravy. I thought that place was unique. Now I'm not so sure.

Now, the Mexicans love their soccer. They came from hundreds of miles away to see their Mexican national squad take on the "gringos" of the United States in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets for this world cup qualifying showdown sold out in 20 minutes on Ticketmaster. The tailgate party started four hours before the game. Never had I see anything like it. Acres of fans singing, chanting, and partying in costumes that heralded their loyalty. The Mexicans wore flags, sombreros, even cacti.

But what is the significance of professional wrestling in the Mexican culture? Curious Big Dave wants to know. I took this picture of a few Mexican fans clad in wrestling regalia. There were many more.

There were many Hispanic partisans in our section of the bleachers. They chanted "Ole" when the Mexican soccer players completed a pass to eachother, avoiding the American defenders. mexico
They also drank a lot of beer, carrying big cups four at a time back to their seats. Of course, that led to trouble. One Mexican fan hurled the beer from his large cup onto spectators below. However, he was the only trouble-maker among us.One of his fellow fans upbraided him, standing out on the aisle and yelling, "Aren't we all civilized here?" I wasn't sure I could take him seriously, since he was wearing a Mexican flag like a Batman cape. What we really needed to maintain order was a couple of those fans dressed like professional wrestlers.

"The next fan to act up gets suplexed."


Blogger Peter said...

I didn't know that soccer was a popular sport for the US, but I guess with your population there are going to be followers of all sports.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Soccer is very popular here in the Southern part of Texas. We start them out at age 4. Their shin guards are up ti their knees (LOL).

Hmm . . . reading about those restaurants is making me hungry.

6:30 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Here in The Home, chicken fried steak is always hamburger under gravy. Yuck city...

7:41 AM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

A multicultural post, indeed! My eldest daughter studied at Université Laval and claims that Quebecan poutine is the best in Canada and that there is such a thing as vegan poutine gravy.

The combination of green/white and four big cups of beer per person reminds me of another species of sports fan.

I find the suplex quite offensive.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

I've never seen a Mexican wrestler. Why not a bull-fighter (matador)? However, the whole scene can be explained by the simple fact that Mexicans understand to live in the moment and never miss party, wether or not they have the right outfit to wear.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

... to live in the moment and never miss party, wether or not they have the right outfit to wear.

I like this philosophy!

Gravy is something I avoid at all costs. Eww.

5:54 AM  
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