Stuck inside Varginha with those football-blues again
When I chose a route to discover Brazilian football/Brazil, one place stood out out above all, a mons venus. No, not Rio De Janeiro, not Sao Paulo, not even Belo Horizontal. Rather VARGINHA, a place within reach of them all on a Brazilian scale. Yet a World away. Another planet. And a place I knew we could be safe.
Safe, even though in January 1996 (summertime in Brazil) no less than one alien /e.t./ufo was spotted and stoned by some boys (the girls who first saw it were a little kinder and just claimed that it stunk.)
The American military were said to have taken over the case, even disposing of the crashed spacecraft in exchange for a favour (free coffee? – or was the favour in the other direction?)…it is not clear. Indeed, some say the poor unfortunate who was stoned was a sober but particularly shoddily-clad “Little Luiz”, a well-known simpleton from Varginha City, soaked to the skin after some summer rain, wobbly and in a crouch position on his haunches.
Today, Varginha hosts some extra-terrestials from Belo Horizonte and Rio De Janeiro : Esporte Clube Cruzeiro (‘home’ team) and Vasco Da Gama (‘away’) – the Belo team forced to relocate their next 6 games to locations more than 100kms from base, after their fans threw missiles at/stoned the opposition.
The mayor of VARGINHA is coming to see the Vasco players (theirs is the third biggest club in Brazil) at the hotel…where we are staying. He maintains he is also coming to see us. My accomplice and I don’t usually stay in hotels but prefer to couch-surf but, as “Little Luiz” is unable to host us on his couch (he heard the word “crouch”) we are obliged to stay at the Sleep Inn. Amongst footballers. And their fans at the door.