We arrived in Laredo around 7PM and after settling in at the hotel and getting the itinerary for Saturday, we headed across the border. We were going to pick up some cheap souvenirs, but it was past business hours so we just took in some of the local flavor. (i.e. grab a cerveza or two and meet the locals.)
As we walked through the “mean streets” of Nuevo Laredo, we weren’t accosted by drug kingpins, hostage takers, or even roving gangs of ruffians. When these guys arrived to entertain us as we walked, I had to grab a picture.
They were really cool dudes and despite my mangled Spanish, we managed to have a pretty good conversation.
One of the coolest people we met was Rafael.
He is the 87-year old proprietor of a little corner bar. He has owned the bar for over 60 years and has never missed a day at work. He showed us a bunch of real old photos and explained who was who in them… it was an exceptional bit of cross-cultural interaction and one of the highlights of the trip thus far.
Today is all about football as team meetings begin in about two hours, the team lunch follows and then the trip over to the arena for pregame activities.
Right up until the last minute, I was thinking about not coming on the trip, but as it turns out, I am very glad I did.