Jungle Speed

Salta Travel Blog

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Way back when I was in Buenos Aires, I decided to purchase a Boca Junior's football jersey. It has been the best purchase of my trip. Not only is it a nice, functional t shirt but it is also the best conversation starter I have ever had. Every time I don the blue and gold, I inevitably get approached by Argentinians unable to contain their curiousity as to why a "blonde" foreigner is wearing the colours of the most popular team in Argentina. This afternoon, it was quite warm and I hiked up a big hill overlooking Salta. I had stripped down to my boca jersey and was sitting eating my lunch on top of the hill when I was approached by a man in his 70's and his wife. Do you like Boca? he asked me in Spanish. Having heard this question many times, I was prepared and replied that I enjoyed watching them play but that I was from Canada and did not follow the game closely. The man seemed very excited that people in Canada had heard of Boca Juniors. "Boca is very close to my heart" he continued in Spanish. He reached inside his shirt and pulled out a gold chain hanging around his neck. On the chain were two pendants, the virgin mary and the boca juniors crest. Then he reached in his wallet and pulled out his Boca membership card. He told me that he had been a member of the Boca Juniors Club for 60 years. His wife pulled out the camera and I thought that they wanted me to take a picture of them with Salta in the background. Instead, she took a picture of me standing beside the man in my Boca Juniors jersey. 
The jersey does not always provoke such a positive reaction. In Iguazu, the man at the hostel bar told me that as a River Plate fan he could not in good conscience serve someone wearing a Boca Jersey. Whether the reaction is positive or negative there is always a reaction and often a conversation.
The hostel here in Salta has a very different group of people than in Iguazu. There are people from many countries and instead of conversation in English, the conversation in the common room is a mix of English, French, Spanish, German, etc all mangled into one mess that nobody is excluded from but no one understands fully. Last night, the group of about 10 people shared national anthems, folksongs, and tonguetwisters from all of the countries represented before playing Jungle Speed (a game like uno and speed combined) late into the night.
This is what I came to South America for!
Aopaq says:
I am enjoying reading about your travels...sounds like a wonderful experience. It has been about 15 years since I was in Salta but I really enjoyed my time there and remember it as a beautiful city. You should try to see a live football match,even if the Boca Juniors aren't playing. I saw one in Bolivia and really found the atmosphere as interesting as the game....it is a cultural experience.
Posted on: Sep 24, 2007
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