The church bell is invading the serenity of this sunday morning in the small park. Old men are squabbling on a bench here in Antigua Guatemala. All cliches are there to be confirmed, time and again. And then there is this strange flow of people in green-and-white striped T-shirts, slowly walking north over those cliche cobblestone streets.
The way people experience football in a country says a lot about that society itself. It is an interesting thesis, documented magically amongst others in two photography books called ‘European fields’ and ‘Dutch fields’ respectively.
If the thesis rings true, Guatemalans must be the most relaxed people in the world. It is twenty minutes past noon. And just out of curiosity, the football scores app on the smartphone shows there is actually a Premier League (the Guatemala one, of course) starting. In TEN minutes.
Hardly any noise comes from within. In Italy the Ultras would be burning their flares by now. In Holland techno music would announce the imminent arrival of the stars of the show. In Mexico and Brazil the drummers would start the endless beat of the samba.
The biggest spectacle unfolds when one of the advertising boards in the stands comes down, though the wind isn’t exactly giving its best yet. The final whistle heralds the bigger effort of the afternoon: actually lifting our bodies from the stands, putting our sunglasses straight and walk back to the cobblestone streets to resume peaceful life in the park…