The good thing about having friends is when you are down, they try to understand. As a last effort of trying to understand my situation, my friends invited me to a soccer game. I didn’t think too much of it at first. However, this event would change my outlook on the American culture.
Hudson River taken by Hugo Morel
Started off as a normal day of hanging out at the park. Saw a beautiful view of the Hudson River and had to take a photo. One of my friends called me asking, if I would like to go to a soccer game for a local professional team. I agreed, since I wanted to take my mind off all the changes that were happening to me.
Red bulls rally taken by Hugo Morel
Took the Jersey transit to go to the red bulls arena. The trip was actually very short from Pennsylvania station in New York City. Eventually, met my friend who was really pushing me to buy a red shirt. Of course, me being the “socially aware” person I am, I wore blue. The team the NY red bulls were facing had blue jerseys. Apparently, this is was like walking to a gang territory wearing the wrong colors. By the photo above, you can see how much they love red.
People starting fires taken by Hugo Morel
Somehow and someway, I got dragged into a rally. They shut down the whole street. Everyone was either drunk or just crazy passionate fans. They started fires in the middle of the road. Cars couldn’t go through. Had no idea how I got into this, I was just following the crowd. Moral of the story, never follow a group of sport fans.
Red bulls arena taken by Hugo Morel
When I got to the stadium and never in my wildest dreams did I expected Americans to be so excited about “soccer”/football! Growing up, the only sports that mattered were basketball, baseball and American football (the one with tackling, Sundays nights and tons of beer). I had to pinch myself a bit. Seriously thought, I never left Europe for a second. Unless, the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural importance on sports wasn’t the American norm.
Game starting taken by Hugo Morel
So apparently, my friend hooked me up with seats that only loyal paying fans were allowed to sit. It was very chaotic! Very minute, there was a new song about the red bulls. All I kept thinking was, “all this for a soccer game?” “Am I really in the USA right now?” Still stunned, I saw a fan running into the field. I couldn’t believe it. I expected this for American football games, not for soccer.
Random guy being taken off the field taken by Hugo Morel
Not entirely sure what was going on in his brain at that moment. However, the guy didn’t look too proud. Seriously, still can’t believe this was an American soccer game. Ironically, the next big trip was I going to make, is a country where soccer is the national sport.
Forgot who won, to be honest. The whole time, I was just overwhelmed at the culture shock. My friend showed me that there’s more to the American culture than what is on the Media. In this diverse and beautiful country, there’s something for everybody. Regardless of your interest, this country gives you the freedom to express your hobbies and passions.
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