We watched Mexico’s first 2010 FIFA World Cup match (against South Africa) in the bar of the Hotel & Bungalows Mayaland in Chichen Itza and it was awesome, even though the match ended in a tie.

Yesterday we met some new friends (hi John and Tom) at a Brazilian-owned bar called La Choperia in Mérida and we all settled in with some lovely Modelo beer on tap (a rarity) to watch Mexico’s second World Cup match, this time against France.

We’re not giving away any prizes for guessing who we were rooting for and it was a joy to watch Mexico show France who’s boss (the final score was 2:0). It was also a  joy to watch the crowd watching the match and boy did they put on a show. Lots of Mexico jerseys, lots of shouting, a few spontaneous Cielito Lindo singalongs (for reasons we can’t explain), and even a beer shower.

Bear in mind, this match took place at around 1:30 on a Thursday afternoon yet this bar (and any other location with a TV) was packed. Here in Mexico, normal life stops for the World Cup as it does in dozens of other countries right now. People close up shop, ditch work, and drink beer for breakfast (some matches start at 6 am). Some public schools in Mexico have even temporarily brought televisions into the classrooms for fear that students and teachers simply wouldn’t show up if it meant missing a match.

Check out our video, below, to see the fútbol loving crowd going wild in Mérida.

Here’s more about travel in Mexico

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