“I am so proud to be Mexican right now!” he howled.
The Mexicans around him stopped yelling “Si se puede” (Yes, we can!) and started chanting, in much louder voices, “Si se pudo” (Yes, we did!).
Two hours earlier, the German deputy chief of mission and the Mexican ambassador had stood between draped flags, shook hands and exchanged gift bags as phones snapped photos. The Mexicans gave a mini foam soccer ball and a book about Chichen Itza, the ancient Mayan city. The Germans gave a stein.
The only ones in the beer garden enjoying steins now, though, were the Mexicans. In the back of the room, a woman cloaked in a white, red and green flag honk, honk, honked a metal harpo horn she bought for $4.80 from Party Depot every few seconds until every person there understood that yes, they were not dreaming and Mexico had really won.
Just when it seemed like they couldn’t sing anymore, a man in the front broke into the first few words of “Cielito Lindo,” a favorite mariachi song among expats repping their country abroad at international events.
“De la Sierra Morena,” he shouted and instantly a hundred voices joined his, became one with his, and though there was no trumpet, no vihuela, they seemed to blow the roof off the Bier Hall and ascend to another plane of delirium. Their words may ring in the ears of those who were there for the rest of the World Cup.
It was the first game, yes; it was a Sunday morning, yes; but in that moment, no Mexican sang alone.
Ay, ay, ay, ay
Canta y no llores (Sing and don’t cry).
Porque cantando se alegran (Because by singing, hearts get happy)
Cielito lindo, los corazones (Pretty darling, the hearts).
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