Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Incredible Soccer Night...Turned Nightmare

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.

12 comments:

Gilman said...

great night-awful night-wonderfull night

Tay said...

OMG--sounds hellish. Thank God he's fine. I must admit I thought Superbad immediately too. What a story he has (anywhere on the boarding school apps for that one?)!

Delora said...

HA!

Mental P Mama said...

WTF?? I clearly need to come take my Godson hostage.

Mia said...

OMG!! Tony and I just read this. Cannot even imagine. At least all ended well and you have a story with a happy ending to tell! Wow.

Lisa Z said...

Terrifying!! Thank God he is safe and sound. I am addressing Holiday party invites and sad you won't be here!!

Missy said...

Poor Clark - what an adventure!! I can't imagine how bad it must have been for you! We lost Mouse in an underground mall in Singapore when he was two but found him within 5 minutes - PANIC!!!

Perkins Fan said...

What an amazing story! You have such a way with words, Delora, I felt like I was there when the crowd surged!

Jim said...

Glad it worked out OK! Any video of the police car ride(s) ? :)

Sue sue said...

I can't IMAGINE how you felt -I was a wreck just reading your account of it all. I'm so anxious to see you all and give you LOTS of hugs!!!

Deborah said...

Just reading this, I could feel the anxiety welling up. Cannot even imagine what this felt like for the family. Very scary. Much, much relief.

Jill said...

I heard about this adventure from Karoline and Morgan, and so I have to say there is a great AWE or AHHHH or OHHHHH or AWWWW coming from our very verbal family! What a night and Gilman sums it up nicely! We are very happy everyone is home, happy and healthy, with a story line for years to come! Hope to see you soon. We are over skiing in March.