Friday, December 28, 2007

A Place That Is Forever Barça

Here’s a post to cheer up all Barcelona supporters still feeling the pain of last weeks defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the inaptly named “clasico”. My last destination on my trip to Costa Rica was the small and quiet village of Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast, not too far from the border with Panamá. Being a small place there are not too many options for eating out in Manzanillo, and the place that really seems to attract visitors is a restaurant bar called Maxi’s.

As we sat down for dinner on our first night there it quickly became evident that the wall decorations in the restaurant showed a strong bias towards football and to Barcelona in particular. The explanation for this came from a framed newspaper clipping also displayed on the wall. It seems that a nearby butterfly farm (I’m not making this up) was opened some years ago by a Catalan called Pedro. As a result of Pedro’s description of the injustices suffered by Catalans over the years the villagers of Manzanillo, many of whom are the descendants of poor Jamaican settlers on this coast, decided to identify themselves with Barcelona FC and the claim is that more or less the whole village packs Maxi’s whenever their favourite team plays. Unfortunately I left the village 2 days before Sunday’s game so I’m unable to verify the truth of this, although the waiter in the restaurant assured us it is the case.

So there you have it, the pain may still be there but it must be comforting to know it is shared by others. Oh, and the grilled red snapper is excellent.

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