Saturday, December 31, 2022

Ringing in the New Year

 It is hard to believe that another year has passed, and that we are on the brink of ushering in 2023.  Tonight, I will stay at home, but, at the stroke of midnight, I will open the front door and ring my great-grandmother's dinner as I do every New Year's Eve.

The bell belonged to my great-grandmother who came to this country as a child from Switzerland.  She used the bell on the farm that belonged to the family of her husband, my great-grandfather.

I told my cousin Gail that when I move to Mexico that I would give her the bell.  Her great-grandfather and my great-grandmother were brother and sister.  She told me that she would continue the tradition of ringing the bell on New Year's Eve.

Another Year of German

I have continued my study of German on Duolingo throughout this year.  I don't mean to brag (OK, maybe I do), but at the beginning of the month I received a "report card" from Duolingo.

For more than a year I have done my German lessons every day.  There are still things about the grammar and syntax of the language that I find very confusing.  The nominative, accusative and dative cases are coming to me a bit easier.  However, I still forget the gender... masculine, feminine or neuter... of many nouns.  Every noun in German has a gender, and, unlike Spanish where a noun ending in "o" is usually masculine and a noun ending in "a" is usually feminine, there is not much rhyme or reason to genders in German.  "Das Mädchen" (the girl) is neuter.  "Der Kaffee" (the coffee) is masculine.  "Die Suppe" (the soup) is feminine.  You simply have to memorize the gender of each noun.  Articles and adjectives change according to the gender of the noun they describe and according to whether the noun is singular or plural.  OK, Spanish does the same thing, but German makes it more complicated by changing the articles and adjectives again in the accusative (direct object) case or the dative (indirect object) case.  Oddly enough, I sometimes remember the gender of German nouns by thinking of Spanish.  There are quite a few words that have the same gender in both languages.  For example, "Universität" and "universidad" are both feminine.  For other words I keep in mind that the gender is the opposite of Spanish.  "Mond" (moon) is masculine, but in Spanish "luna" is feminine.

When I was at my sister-in-law's home for Christmas, she invited some neighbors over to the apartment.  One of her neighbors is a lady who was born in Germany.  I attempted to converse in German a little bit with her.  Every time I managed to say something, she exclaimed "Sehr gut!"  I also received a Christmas card from my Swiss cousin Andre.  He is the one cousin who does not speak English.  He wrote a short note in German, and I was so proud that I was able to understand it all without relying on Google Translate!

So, I guess I am making progress, and I can honestly say "Ich spreche ein bisschen deutsch." (I speak German a little.)  Someday, maybe I will actually be able to say that I am truly trilingual!   

Friday, December 30, 2022

A Disappointing Exhibit

Yesterday, my high school friend Gail and I went to a special exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  In 2020, a wealthy Cleveland couple, Nancy and Joseph Keithley, donated their large collection to the museum.  With more than 100 pieces of art, it is the largest donation made to the museum in more than sixty years.  Their collection in currently on display in an exhibition called "Impressionism to Modernism".   Frankly, both Gail and I were disappointed.

I had hoped that there would be more paintings by the Impressionists.  There were only two French Impressionist canvasses... one by Camille Pisarro and one by a lesser-known painter, Gustve Caillebote.


From the post-Impressionist school of pointillism (paintings created with small dots and dashes of color) there was this painting by Henri-Edmond Cross.  I had never heard of him, but I liked this painting.

Of names that the ordinary person who is not an art expert would recognize, there was a painting of tulips by Henri Matisse and a small cubist portrait by Picasso.

The collection contained a large number of works, mainly lithographs, by a late 19th century school of artists known as the "Nabis" (Prophets).  Last year the museum had a special exhibit on the "Nabis", and many of the pieces from the Keithley collection were in that show.  I really did not care that much for the exhibit.  One painting which I had not previously seen, and which I liked (perhaps because it is more Impressionist in style), was this depiction of a Parisian restaurant by Edouard Vuillard.

There were a number of pieces of decorative arts in the collection with a concentration on antique Chinese porcelains.

There were a number of modern pieces of abstract expressionism, which is not my cup of tea.  Gail said of the paintings that consisted of squiggles of paint, "Even I could do that!"  This large canvas by Joan Mitchell is at least bright and colorful.

I admit that my artistic tastes are quite old-fashioned, but when we were done with the exhibit, I felt like saying "Is that all there is?"

Thursday, December 29, 2022

A Christmas Gift

For Christmas my sister-in-law Phyllis gave me one of those slide show picture frames.  When I took it home and tried to upload photos to it, I have to admit that I was very frustrated.  The instructions were useless.  They were written by someone with a sub-standard knowledge of the English language, and most of the directions pertained to uploading photos from a smartphone.  My photos are NOT on a smartphone; they are on my desktop.  Grrrrrr.

I finally noticed that there was a place on the back of the frame to plug in a flash drive.  I happened to have one, so I decided to experiment.  I started organizing a few photos from folders on my desktop and loaded them onto the flash drive.  I then plugged the flash drive into the frame, and, lo and behold, the photos appeared on there.  With no help from the instruction manual, I managed to put those pictures into the frame's storage.

I have gone through all of my picture folders, and I now have a large slide show on the frame.


In spite of my initial frustration, I really like my gift, and I am grateful to Phyllis for buying it for me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A Remarkable Nativity Scene

 Yesterday, Alejandro sent me a photo of the Nativity scene in the home of his friend Eduardo.  The figures and the structure, known in Spanish as "el portal", are all beautifully and elegantly crafted.  

What is remarkable is that Eduardo modeled and painted all of this by hand.  He has never had any classes in sculpture or painting, yet he has created a true work of art.  Alejandro said that Eduardo will probably still have the Nativity scene in place when I return to Mexico next week.  So hopefully I will have a chance to see this in person and congratulate Eduardo on his talent.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas Eve Dinner

 My sister-in-law Phyllis and her husband Jim made reservations for dinner yesterday afternoon at the Golden Lamb, the oldest inn in Ohio.  It is located in Lebanon, Ohio, to the north of Cincinnati.  It would normally be an hour's drive, but the roads were still in dreadful shape after the winter storm.  The wind was still blowing snow across the road.  All along the interstate there were numerous cars and trucks which had swerved off the highway into the ditch.  It took us more than two hours to reach Lebanon.  Fortunately, we had left very early, and we still arrived forty minutes before the time of our reservation.  Although the restaurant had been fully booked, there were many cancellations due to the weather, so they were able to seat us immediately.

The Golden Lamb was established in 1803 as an inn serving stagecoaches on their way to Cincinnati.  The original log structure was replaced by a brick building in 1815.  In 1878 a third and fourth floor were added to the hotel.  Through its long history, it has hosted many notable guests.  Twelve U.S. presidents have eaten or stayed at the Golden Lamb.  Other guests include Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Daniel Webster.

The restaurant was beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Our dinners were excellent.  We had a wonderful and festive time.  It was worth the long drive.  By the time we made the journey back to Columbus, the wind had died done, the roads were mostly clear, and Jim had a much easier drive.

¡Feliz Navidad!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

A Drive Through the Snow

Yesterday I drove to Columbus along interstate 71 in the middle of the winter storm.  Although the snow had stopped, the wind was strong and blowing it across the highway.  I saw some plows out on the road, but the interstate was largely snow covered.  When I first got onto the highway, I was going about 30 miles per hour, and I thought, "This drive is going to take forever."  Eventually I was able to do 45 to 50 miles per hour on the right lane which was generally clear.  However, if I needed to pass, the other lanes were snow-covered.  As I came closer to Columbus and entered Morrow County, the road conditions seemed to improve, and I was able to make better time.  Then suddenly the road became treacherously slippery.  A semi had jackknifed and blocked the highway.  Traffic had to crawl around the truck on the shoulder.  Further on, there were two more semis that had jackknifed off the road.  Things did not improve as I entered the city limits of Columbus.  Finally, I arrived at the apartment building where my sister-in-law and her husband live.  What is usually a two-hour drive took more than three hours.  I have driven in worse conditions but never for such a long distance.  I wasn't really scared.  My Prius seemed to handle the snow very well.  However, it was a very tiring experience.  Fortunately, the weather will have moderated by the time I have to return to Cleveland on Monday.

Snowy Franklin Park across the street from my sister-in-law's condo

¡Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Wintry Christmas

I was planning on heading down the highway by 8:00 this morning to go to Columbus, Ohio, to spend Christmas with my sister-in-law Phyllis and her husband Jim.  Of course, all week they have been talking about winter storm Elliot (when did they start naming winter storms as if they were hurricanes?) which was to hit the Midwest and Northeast just in time for Christmas.  

I got up around 5 A.M.  It really has not snowed that much, not even enough to bother with the snowblower.  The problem, however, is the wind and low temperature.  The wind is blowing steadily at around 30 miles per hour, and the temperature has plummeted to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-19 Celsius).  With the wind chill it feels like -21.  So, even if we had had a heavier snow, there is no way that I would go out there with the snowblower. 

Columbus does not have the moderating influence of Lake Erie, and so, even though it is to the south of us, the temperature is even colder... presently 2 below zero.

The snow is supposed to stop around mid-morning, so I am going to wait until 10 or 11 before I make the two-hour drive to Columbus.    

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Adiós, Luna

I just received an email from Alejandro.  Everyone in the house is very sad today.  Their beloved dog, Luna, passed away.

 Alejandro's family rescued Luna from the street about twelve years ago.  She was usually suspicious of strangers, but from the first time I came to Alejandro's house, Luna was very friendly with me.  She loved it when I scratched her ears and neck.

I could tell that Luna was getting old.  She had a hard time walking and seemed to breath heavily.  I was not surprised when Alejandro told me the news, but I was still sad.  I am sure that Alejandro's nephew Ezra, who has known Luna his entire life, has shed some tears.

I will miss you, Luna.  

More Cleaning Out

In preparation for selling my house and moving to Mexico, I have been gradually clearing out the junk that has accumulated over the decades that I have lived here.  I have already cleaned out the garage and the back storage shed.  I still had to tackle the attic.  Since it is uncomfortably hot up there in the summer, I wanted to do that this time of year.  This week is the monthly bulk garbage pickup, so, earlier this week, my friend Frank came over to help me with the job.

After a couple of hours, the attic was largely empty.

There were a few things, such as my childhood tricycle, that might be considered vintage.  Next year I'll see if an antique shop might want to buy them.  I also found a box of books, mostly murder mysteries printed in the 1940s, that belonged to my mother.  I will have to look for an antique book dealer and see if I can sell them.  Sadly, no one will want my collection of National Geographic magazines.  Not even the libraries will accept them.  So, they went out in the junk.  

Last night I put it all out by the street, and later today it will all be gone.  

Another step completed toward getting the house ready to sell,   

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

From My Reading List


A couple nights ago I finished reading "Crazy Rich Asians" by Kevin Kwan.  The novel is a piece of fluff, although it was enjoyable light reading.  I suppose it has some literary merit as social satire.  It deals with a Chinese-American economics professor, Rachel, who falls in love with one of her colleagues, Nick, a history professor born in Singapore.  Nick invites Rachel to accompany him to Singapore for the wedding of his best friend.  Upon arriving, she learns to her astonishment that Nick is a member of one of the richest families in the island state... rich beyond all imagining.  The economic disparity between them is going to have serious consequences for their relationship. 

I saw the movie some years ago, and it was quite different from the book.  Unlike the movie, the book does not conclude with Rachel confronting Nick's mother, who views the American as an unsuitable bride for her son, and finally winning her blessing.  Perhaps that occurs in the author's sequel.  

After that light reading, I have turned to something much weightier... "The Discoverers" by historian Daniel Boorstin.  The word "discoverer" here is used to refer to much more than explorers such as Columbus or Magellan.  It refers also to those who have made discoveries in fields such as science, medicine and mathematics.  So far, I have only read part of the first chapter which deals with the development of the calendar.  He discusses how some cultures based their calendars on the phases of the moon, while others used the movement of the sun.  It seems that it will be an interesting book, although it is a rather massive tome of 684 pages in fairly small print.  I will take some lighter books (both figuratively in subject matter and literally in weight) when I leave for Mexico in a couple of weeks.  But this is the type of book that I can put aside and then pick up again when I return from my trip.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Christmas on the Zócalo

The other day I was looking at the Mexico webcam site and saw that Mexico City's main plaza, the Zócalo, is decked out for the Christmas season.

From December 12th until December 31st, the Zócalo is the scene of a Christmas festival.  In the pictures you can see three artificial Christmas trees.  According to an article I found on the internet, they are made from more than 3,500 poinsettias.  There are a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and a tobaggan run.  There are workshops where children can make Christmas crafts.  In front of the Cathedral there is a stage where Christmas music is being performed and where "pastorelas" are being presented.  "Pastorelas" are humorous plays which date back to the colonial era.  In these works, shepherds succeed in outwitting the devil who is trying to prevent them from going to Bethlehem.

I hope that by next Christmas, I will have moved to Mexico, and I will be able to enjoy the holiday celebrations.

Sunday, December 18, 2022


 I got a chuckle out of this cartoon that I found on the internet...

Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Dusting of Snow

 I had not seen any snow this season until this morning when I got up.  In November while I was in Mexico, Buffalo, New York, located at the eastern end of Lake Erie in the "snow belt", was buried under the white stuff.  Here on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio, there had only been a dusting of snow.  That is what we received last night... not even enough snow to cover the ground.



Since my return from Mexico, the temperatures have been generally mild without dipping below freezing.  Now the temperature has dropped, and the low on Christmas Eve is predicted to be 9 degrees Fahrenheit.  We also might have a white Christmas.  All that I ask is that there are no winter storms on January 5th, the day I fly back to Mexico!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Movie Producer

Long, long ago (fifty years ago!), when this blogger first started to travel, I had a film camera.  Before going on a trip, I would buy plenty of rolls of Kodachrome and Ektachrome film. (Are you old enough to remember those brand names from Kodak?). Upon returning, I would go to the camera store and have the film processed into slides.  Over the years I accumulated thousands of slides.  My friends would come to the house for slide shows, and my poor students would have to watch slides of Mexico, Spain, and South America.  Much later, I got a camcorder, and sometimes I would do multimedia shows with slides on the screen synchronized with the VHS tape shown on the TV. 

Film photography started to disappear with the advent of digital cameras. I was a dinosaur, kicking and screaming that slides were much better than digital images.  Finally, a couple years before I started this blog in 2013, I relented and bought a digital camera.  Although I do sometimes miss projecting my slides on a large screen, I have to admit that digital photography has many advantages for the traveler.  I don't have to haul a couple dozen rolls of film with me in a bulky camera bag when I travel.  I don't have to carefully ration how many photos I take.  I can snap away without worrying about running out of film.

After a trip I made to Mexico City in November of 2011, for the first time I used a "video studio" program on my desktop to create a slideshow burned onto a DVD.  I even included background music on the disc.  I now have a library of 63 discs from my travels.

I am bringing this up, because last night I finished the DVD slideshow of my latest trip to Mexico City.  During the five weeks that I was down there I took more than 1400 photographs and videos.  I narrowed that down to around 500 of the best pictures.  Even that was too much for one disc, so I have a two-volume set of "Mexico City: October - November, 2022".

Yes, I am fully aware that DVDs are becoming obsolete, and that the discs eventually degrade.  According to what I have read, they last about 45 years, which means I should be able to enjoy my travel photos for the rest of my lifetime... that is, as long as they continue to make DVD players.    

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Christmas Card Revealed

My readers know that each year I do a painting which I then use for my Christmas card.  This year, because I extended my stay in Mexico, my cards were not sent out as soon as usual.  A few people were actually concerned because they did not receive my card right after Thanksgiving.

I have heard from several of my European cousins that theirs have arrived, so I think it is safe to assume that everyone has by this time received the card.  Here is my Christmas card for 2022.

On one of my trips to Mexico this year, Alejandro and I stayed at the Ex-Hacienda Galindo, a 16th century estate which has been restored and converted into a hotel.  It is located outside the city of San Juan del Río in the state of Querétaro.  This was the chapel of the old hacienda.

To all of my readers,

best wishes for a wonderful holiday season

and a very happy new year!

Monday, December 12, 2022

My Nativity Scene Again

My cousin Gail came over to the house today to see my Mexican Nativity scene.  She took this photo...


Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Story Behind "El Cardenal"

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time has become familiar with "El Cardenal", a chain of restaurants which is one of our favorite places to eat in Mexico City.  Alejandro sent me an article about the restaurant which appeared in the newspaper "El País" last month.  I learned a lot about the history of that wonderful establishment.

More than fifty years ago there was a "taco joint" called "El Cardenal" located near Mexico City's main plaza, the Zócalo.  Despite the fact that it was a very popular lunch spot with government employees from the nearby National Palace, Supreme Court and House of Representatives, the place had gone out of business.  

Around that time, Jesús Briz, his wife Olivia Garizurieta, and their seven children had moved to Mexico City from the state of Michoacán.  Jesús found a job as the manager of the dining room of a private social club.  Oliva was an excellent cook, and Jesús had an interest in traditional Mexican recipes.  They jumped at the chance to buy the defunct taco joint.  Jesús kept the name "El Cardenal" because he viewed the red bird as a good omen.  The menu of their new establishment went far beyond tacos.  In an era when "white tablecloth" restaurants in Mexico City usually served French cuisine, Jesús and Olivia opened an elegant restaurant dedicated to Mexican gastronomy.

The business flourished until 1978.  In that year, electric company workers installing underground cables discovered an enormous Aztec sculpture.  Archaeologists were called in, and it was determined that the foundation of the main Aztec temple lay beneath the city streets.  The government expropriated several blocks of buildings to proceed with the excavation of the archaeological site.  "El Cardenal" was one of the properties to be demolished.  

As luck would have it, Jesús found an abandoned building a few blocks away on Palma Street.  The once elegant structure dates from the late 1800s when French style architecture was all the rage.  With the help of an investor, Jesús bought the building and had it restored to its former glory.  It is today the flagship of the "Cardenal" chain.  

(image taken from the internet)

After the earthquake of 1985, the Historic Center fell into decline.  The restaurant managed to survive, due in part to its clientele of government bureaucrats who continued to patronize the place.  In the early 2000s, the city center was revitalized and beautified.  "El Cardenal" on Palma Street is thriving once again, and on weekends there are usually long lines waiting for a table.  

The children of Jesús and Olivia now operate the restaurant.  They have opened branches throughout the city.  The newest one is across the street from the World Trade Center, just a short walk from the apartment that I rent.  Alejandro and I have eaten at most of the branches, and we have found the quality of food in all of them to be excellent.

Today the restaurant has made a commitment to preserving Mexico's culinary heritage.  All of their bread is baked on site.  The owners have a ranch which is the source of all their dairy products.  They grind their own corn using Mexican strains of seed and have led the fight against genetically modified corn.

"El Cardenal", in my opinion, is one of Mexico City's gastronomic treasures. 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

My Nativity Scene

I have written that in Mexico, many families set up elaborate Nativity scenes which might take up most of a room and which include an array of villagers, animals and buildings recreating a distinctly Mexican reimagining of Bethlehem.  I have also written about my shopping trips to Mexican markets to find more figures for my Nativity scene.

Even though I left the figures that I bought on my most recent trip at the apartment in Mexico City (if all goes according to plan, by next Christmas I will have moved to Mexico), my Nativity display here has grown, and it is displayed in my living room in Ohio in three sections.

On the mantle above the fireplace is the set which I bought in Mexico City back in the 1980s.

There had just been a devaluation of the peso, and for travelers with dollars everything was ridiculously inexpensive.  I purchased this delightful set at Sanborns (a Mexican chain of stores) for less than the equivalent of $10.  My friend Frank built the "portal" or archway to go with it.


On top of a bookshelf, I have some figures which I acquired earlier this year.

Last January, Alejandro gave me the chicken coop and the pigs as a "Day of the Kings" present.  I found the figures of the shepherd with his sheep in a store in Puebla.

I set up my remaining figures on the floor beneath the fireplace.  I bought some green felt, and bags of moss and pebbles to create a landscape.

After the holidays I will have to buy some boxes and lots of bubble wrap to carefully wrap and pack everything so that I can ship it to Mexico when I move.

Monday, December 5, 2022

From the Mexican Supermarket

I needed some canned chipotle and serrano peppers, so last week I made a trip to the Mexican supermarket located on the west side of Cleveland.  While I was there, I checked to see if they had any "rompope", an alcoholic beverage which is Mexico's version of eggnog.  It has been a while since they have had it in stock, but I figured that they might have it for the holiday season.  The two best known brands of "rompope" are "Santa Clara" and "Coronado", but last year the supermarket had a brand called "Hacienda Guanamé".  I thought that it has a smoother, richer taste than the other brands.  Alejandro has found it occasionally in supermarkets in Mexico, and he agrees with me.

What I found this time was yet another brand... "Atontonilli", which is made in the Mexican state of Jalisco.  This "rompope" is almond flavored.

I bought a bottle and opened it last night to see how it tastes.  The flavor is very good; however, it has chunks of almond in it.  It just seems rather strange to chew my eggnog!  The bottle says to shake before serving.  Perhaps if I don't shake it, all those pieces of almond will stay on the bottom.

When I went to the checkout, they were giving away a 2023 calendar.  It's rather cool with a picture of the different kinds of tacos in Mexico.  I will take it with me on my upcoming trip and give it to Alejandro's family.

And, yes, I bought a good supply of canned peppers.  Tonight I am going to open up a can of chipotles and make chicken "tinga".

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Early Packing

I have been home for less than a week, and I have a month to go before I return to Mexico.  However, I already have one of the suitcases packed for the next trip. 

I fly back to Mexico on January 5th, one day before Epiphany, or the Day of the Kings, as it is known in Mexico.  Down there January 6th is the traditional day for the giving of gifts.  Children believe that it is the Three Kings who bring them presents.  (Some lucky children also get gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas morning.)  There is a fourth King... William of Ohio... who brings gifts to Alejandro's family.

During the course of the year, I am always buying things that I think the family might like.  A couple days ago I finished my Christmas shopping.  So, I packed all the presents into one of my suitcases.

My larger suitcase will be filled with things that I am taking down as I anticipate my eventual permanent move down to Mexico sometime next year.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Neighborhood Market

On my last weekend in Mexico, while I was at Alejandro's house, we went to the nearby public market.  I wanted to see what they had in the way of traditional Nativity figures.  The market is much smaller than the Jamaica Market, my favorite in Mexico City.  However, outside the building there were a few stalls set up selling Christmas decorations.  Most of the merchandise was cheap stuff, probably made in China, but there were a couple stalls selling Nativity figures.

I made a few purchases... a sheep and some buildings for my Mexican-style version of Bethlehem.  

I left these items at Alejandro's house, however, because, if all goes according to plan, by Christmas of 2023 I will have permanently moved to Mexico. 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Watching the Game

Last Saturday afternoon, just a couple days before my departure from Mexico, I watched the World Cup match between Mexico and Argentina with Alejandro, his sister Sandra and his nephew Ezra.  Ezra's school had invited the students and their families to come watch the game on a big screen TV set up in the courtyard of the school.  So, around 12:30 we all walked over to his "secundaria" (junior high), just five minutes away.  Alejandro's dad, the biggest soccer fan in the family, stayed at home to watch the game.

We all dressed up in "¡Viva México!" attire.  Ezra wore a "mariachi" tee-shirt, but he was too embarrassed to wear the "sombrero" that his mom brought along for him.  After a while, however, he got into the spirit of things, and put on the straw hat.  I didn't have a "sombrero", but I wore a soccer shirt (that I had bought some years ago at Burlington Coat Factory!) emblazoned with MEXICO in big letters.


Earlier this year I had given Ezra a Mexican flag that I used to hang in my classroom.  Sandra brought it along.

Alejandro was wearing a tee-shirt from the last world cup.  It was part of a series of six shirts (he has them all), each one with a letter of M-E-X-I-C-O.

The school's cook had prepared "tacos de carnitas" for purchase, so I ate a couple during the game.  The "carnitas" were also available for carry-out.  After the game Sandra bought a kilo to take home for our dinner.

As you can see from the crowd at the stadium in Qatar, we weren't the only ones wearing Mexican tee-shirts and big sombreros and carrying Mexican flags.

The Mexican team singing the national anthem before the start of the game.

Argentina was heavily favored to win the game.  In their first game, Mexico had tied the favored team from Poland.  The first half of their second match was also scoreless, and I was hoping that Mexico might at least pulled off another tie with Argentina.  However, in the second half, Argentina's Lionel Messi, considered one of the greatest "fútbol" players in the world, scored two goals.  Mexico went down to defeat and has been eliminated from advancing to the next round.

Alejandro's father was very angry, but the rest of us had fun in spite of the outcome.