Well, waaah. Colombia’s out of the World Cup, and I was feeling quite glum for a while. What was the point of continuing with World Cup Spanish vocabulary? What got me out of that funk? Colombians, of course! I know it can be dangerous to generalize, but by and large I find Colombians to be extremely alegres (happy), agradecidos (grateful), and celebratory for any little reason at all. We lost 2-1 to Brazil, and, yes, we were all crying along with James, but people were immediately applauding the team’s excellent overall performance, thanking them for bringing the country such positive attention, and celebrating that we got as far as we did. I just wanted to go home and sulk because that’s my nature, but, uh-uh, no one was having any of it. I was forced to go to a party, and, what do you know, I felt a million times better right away. In the end it’s just a game, and Colombia played and ultimately lost with honor and dignity. Can a heart be heavy and happy at the same time? I think so.
Who to root for now? Hmm, Costa Rica, because they’re the little engine that could, and their coach is Colombian. Then, Holland? Or Argentina? My enthusiasm is waning, truncated just like Colombia’s sparkling trajectory. ¡Pero la vida sigue! May the best team win.
A controversial figure in the Colombia-Brazil game was the ref. Not that that’s anything new. How do you say referee in Spanish? El árbitro. We have the word arbiter in English, but it’s very rare. Arbitrator isn’t too common, either. I think the first English word that you unconsciously associate with árbitro is arbitrary and, sigh, many of their calls and silences seem to be just that. Refereeing in general is el arbitraje, so blame it on the mal arbitraje if the ref had it in for your team. Sometimes the ref is called el juez. What if it’s a lady ref? La árbitra? El árbitra? La árbitro? The internet can’t decide. Juez becomes la juez or la jueza. Oh, English, how I long for your simplicity sometimes!
Everyone was complaining that the Colombia-Brazil ref was an árbitro comprado, or that he’d been bought off or bribed. That he was crooked and in the FIFA’s pocket. But at the end of the day, Colombia didn’t play well and didn’t score the goals it needed. While most of the fouls were against Colombia and it seemed that they especially ganged up on James, there was leniency (or blindness) toward Colombia as well. Seeing as one player’s knee to Neymar’s back fractured the Brazilian star’s vertebra, and he’ll now be out for the rest of the tournament.
The linesmen are los jueces de línea.
Yes, some people are still crying foul and saying the biased ref this, the disallowed goal that, but overall Colombians accept the loss. We’re not sore losers or poor sports. A sore loser is a mal perdedor, or someone who no sabe perder. But, actually, I think that losing is what Colombia knows how to do best, soccer-wise. The series of wins and beautiful plays were a little dizzying, but I’m certain that there will be many more in the years to come.
Finally, something weird but cool. This beautiful giant grasshopper flew onto James Rodríguez’ arm and then stayed there for a good while as he took a penalty shot and scored Colombia’s only legitimate goal. Click on the picture to see it with greater detail. A grasshopper is a saltamontes or chapulín, though it’s not uncommon for it to be called a grillo (cricket) out of insect ignorance. Some are even saying the bug was a locust (which just sounds too messianic). Smart little critter, whatever he was.
¡Súper orgullosa! And now . . . back to normal life, back to reality. I really don’t even care about soccer, but I’m grateful for this surge of unity, hope, and cheer that my adopted patria inspired in me and so many people. I also love that the coach, José Pékerman, is Argentinian and that he has done so much for Colombia. He’s truly revered here, and he deserves it. Apparently, when Colombia qualified for the 2014 World Cup, Pékerman requested Colombian citizenship and received it the next day. I confess that I like to fantasize about what I could possibly do to one day receive Colombian citizenship on the spot! I’d love to do some great, heroic deed for Colombia, but I’ll probably just end up putting in the requisite number of years here plus the mountain of paperwork. If only those citizenship issuers were blog readers . . . I need a rosca . . . who can help me out here?