The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
The train station’s right in the airport here, so the first hour after you land is set in this indoor universe of like someone’s fake idea of how Tomorrow would look in 1971. I got some euros and made my way out through the glossy kiosk mobs and the feeling that the corner of my eye was always going to have something turquoise in it.
You know what’s not hilarious? Australians who start talking about the season finale of Lost as soon as they see you watching the third-to-last episode one seat ahead of them on the train. There is no iPod volume loud enough to drown you out, skinny blond girl in a Grand Prix baseball cap and her in-control, white-zip-hoodie-wearing mother.
I love the ride from the airport to the city, though. It’s like, train confusion…airport confusion…overgrown green areas at weird distances from the tracks interspersed with non-abandoned-looking industrial buildings…collapsing concrete walls covered with giant clown graffiti…oh, hello, seventeenth century. Just kind of sneaks up on you like it owed you money and was hoping you wouldn’t spot it.
It’s dinnertime, I think—anyway the heat has that “I’ve been here awhile” quality that you don’t get till early evening. (Always surprising how tropical this city is…the first palm trees I see have me doing a double take, like maybe I accidentally flew to some Spanish colony in the Caribbean that also has curvy bell towers.) I’m way too keyed up to stay in the hotel, so I’m going to unpack a couple of things and see about hiking over to my old pizzeria in San Lorenzo. Diavolo, you have got my name on you. I’ll try to get a feel for the Champions League scene while I’m out.
I love this city. All I’ve done is walk to my hotel, and I’ve already been down two separate side streets where the traffic was entirely made up of gorgeous women in expensive-looking dresses simultaneously climbing onto the backs of their boyfriends’ Vespas.
by Vandal-prone · May 23, 2009