Mexican Qualifiers, May 2014, Guadalajara.
Remember when I went to World’s and had an internationally good time? Well, during this time, I met some rad dudes: Nacho, Paco, Raul, Pablo, Donas, and Toño. They were funny, kind, and we bonded over my ability to speak to them in Spanish. (Thanks, ma).
I saw on lobp that their qualifier was going to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico. Up to this point, I was heavily investing my pennies in to traveling for bike polo, and found a $200 RT flight leaving from San Antonio. With the help of Facebook, I had a team in no time. (Shout out to Paco and El Profe!)
I casually told my mom I was going to Mexico by myself, the week of my departure. My ma is a worry wort and I thought giving her little notice would be a good idea. She proceeded to inform me of crimes she had heard of, seen on TV, and wanted to tell me that she loved me, in case I didn’t make it back. She really is the most.
I felt confident I was going to be safe, since I was going to stay with a local player, and would be hanging out with the bike polo community the entire time. Being fluent in Spanish didn’t hurt either. I made it out alive, obviously. Mexico was not at all as dangerous as people made it out to be. The tournament ended up being one of the best tournaments I had ever attended.
I got there a couple of days earlier to sight see and get my yolo on. The Guadalajara club was so welcoming and amusing— I always felt at home. Mario, owner of 33 bike shop and one of the founders of bike polo in Guadalajara, hosted me for like 6 days. He had never ever met me before, but was making me breakfast, letting me try his fancy tequila, and putting up with my diarrhea, as if he known me for years. Bike polo is amazing like that, y’know? I hope to repay such kindness to all my Mexico fam one day, if they ever visit Texas.
One of my favorite memories was picking up the court wood and transporting them to the trucks. We were all so sweaty, grimy, and tired, but had enough energy to kill some Hot n Ready’s. No one washed their hands, no judgements were made.
When, I came back home, I briefly looked in to jobs available in Guadalajara.