Last night we attended our first futbol game in our adopted city of Madrid. New Yorkers, you got nothin' on the rivalry between Real Madrid and Atletico fans. Jets vs. Giants, Mets vs. Yankees: add vast amounts of alcohol, latin tempers, cigarette smoking in the stadium seats, celebratory red and white smoke bombs to start the game (red and white for the Atletico stadium) and world class group swearing (in song) and you have just a taste of what we experienced. Here's a recap of the game:
The sound track in this video is so very misleading. Instead, imagine inserting the song the mob crowd sang when Real Madrid's number 4, got a red card and was tossed out of the game: Adios hijo de Puta, Adios, hijo de Puta, Adios ... well you get the idea. Translation? Goodbye, son of bitch! That's the only one I can actually print on a family blog...
So how did this festive night turn nightmare? Leaving the stadium, the five of us had to grab 2 cabs. The crowd surged (did I just say, "the crowd surged"?) and there were distractions: One fan, so drunk he literally couldn't walk, fell off a motorcycle and was crawling around the street. There was a mad dash for cabs, so we hopped into our two, drove the 15 minutes home and arrived realizing that neither Chip, nor I, had Clark. Clark was still in the mob somewhere on the other side of town with no phone, no money and no keys. Frantic, Chip and Lucia grabbed another cab back to the stadium. Sam stationed himself at the door to our building with 20 euros in case Clark had taken a cab and couldn't pay and I waited upstairs by the phone. No words can describe the amount of despair we felt when 2 hours later, neither we, nor the police, could find Clark. During that time, Chip, Lucia and some riot police (who spoke no English) had been driving around the stadium. An hour later, when there was still no sign of him, the police took a description of Clark, dropped Chip and Lucia back where they'd last seen him, and drove off, wishing them buen suerte (good luck)! We've never been more terrified.
Just as I was getting through to the emergency person at the US Embassy in the wee hours of the morning, I heard the elevator ascending. There was Clark with two police officers, looking pale, but no worse for wear. He'd had a crazy adventure involving being pushed over a barrier, waiting for us on a pole in the middle of the mob, panicking after time went by, trying to run home and realizing he didn't know where he was, and finally finding two policemen in the streets who put him in the back of the heavily plasticized police car. What took so long to get home? Twice, the police stopped the car, turned to Clark and said, "Lo siento, un momento, por favor." Then they took out their guns and proceeded to break up big street brawls. They were "bros" as Clark calls them, great guys who cracked jokes all night and entertained him by driving on the center medians with their sirens on and cracking themselves up. Twice they went down one way streets the wrong way. "Wow, just like in the police car scene in Superbad!" Sam said with admiration.
The fallout: Sam and Lucia have vowed to tatoo "Clark" onto their forearms. I suggest that, instead, we tattoo Clark with: "Reward offered for safe return", along with his address and phone number.