>> Friday, May 30, 2003

Over 30.000 tickets have already been sold for the Nacional - Peñarol derby this Sunday (I'm talking about football here, BTW!). Luckily, I've already bought mine... tickets for the "popular" stands behind the goal, which is where I go, are almost sold out.

For a long time I used to go only to the stands near the official's seats. These are the most expensive, but also the safest (and when I say the most expensive, it's actually very cheap by international standards: my ticket for this, one of the most important games in the season, was about US$ 2).

The popular stands, named Amsterdam and Colombes after the cities in which the Uruguayan National Team won their 2 olympic gold medals in football, are considered a bit dangerous. This is where the barras bravas (hard-core fans) sit, and also where most fights start. Not that this happens often. In the 6 years I've been going to the Amsterdam, I've only seen one "riot". That was in the last Nacional - Peñarol last year. It was a good 50m from where I was sitting, and absolutely nothing happened to me. My sister, though, had her arm splattered with blood from a guy who'd scraped his elbow running away from the fight. I ended up pouring half my beer on her arm to help "sterilize" it!

At work, we're all Nacional fans and we've been preparing ourselves. The office "DJ" spent the whole day playing Nacional fan songs :-)


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