Growing up in the melting pot of a city in Canada, watching the FIFA World Cup was an experience in seeing how people from different cultures celebrated their reaping every four years. But watching the World Cup from my new home in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica is very different. Here, everyone is rooting for the home team, and they all gather together to watch their national heroes make them proud on the world stage.
Here are three tips for any traveller to get the full World Cup experience when you are in a town where soccer reigns supreme:
- Get Into The Action
Get yourself to the busiest bar or restaurant in town, and watch the game with the locals. Order what everyone else is drinking, and let yourself be swept away by all of the yelling, chanting, cheering and dancing.
- Learn The Language
Here in Puerto Viejo, there are a few key phrases to learn when watching soccer with the locals. They include, “Corre más rápido!” (“Run faster!”), “¿Qué estás haciendo?” (“What are you doing?”), and of course, “Gol!!” (“Goal!!”)
- Root For The Home Team
It’s great that you’re proud of your country of origin, but if your national team isn’t playing, root for the home team. Let your emotions run with those of the people around you and get caught up in their fervor and joy. It’s the experience of a lifetime.