A soccer game was scheduled for that night: Chile vs. Uruguay at the nearby National Stadium. We had planned on watching it online with the kids, but Marathon and I decided to take a walk in the park first. We were walking and talking, and the time got away from us. We both became dimly aware that, though it was a lovely evening, there was almost no one in the usually bustling park.
A few minutes later, yells of “Gooooooooalllllll!!!!” erupted all around us. The park is large and is surrounded by apartment buildings. Cheers were pouring from open windows. Of course! That’s why no one was in the park tonight! The game had begun. And no doubt about it, Chile had just scored. They went on to win the game, and Chile celebrated with lots of noise at both gooooooallllls.
There is no escaping soccer here. This was an “important” game – Chile’s last chance to make it to the World Cup. But even regular games do not go unnoticed. Bursts of hollers will suddenly pour from windows all around when goals are made. But this game was unique because Chileans were united in cheering for the same team.