Welcome to Tijuana

Columns Fun & Entertainment

Welcome to Tijuana

Originally published in Univers no. 14, 27 June 2013. Download PDF

Featured photo by Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash

Did you know that the city of Rotterdam organizes a Summer Carnaval in June? Me neither. It’s all very confusing, because the festival has nothing to do with Carnaval celebrated by the Southern Dutchies, but rather with the Latin American celebrations in winter.

In any case, Rotterdam lured me in for the festivities with the Manu Chao & La Ventura concert. It didn’t feel like the Netherlands anymore because of the exotic atmosphere brought by all the Mexicans, Spanish and Portuguese fans. If you feel as lost as I was in the multiculti setting, here is a short guideline of how to melt into the melting pot.

Chant football songs regardless of location. A concert is a perfect occasion to clap and roar “Oé, Oé, Oééééé, Oééééé, Oééééé!” Engage as many people as possible, pointing fingers at them and yelling two times louder, hoping that they will follow your lead and not leave you hanging.

If you don’t know the song lyrics, especially when they are in Spanish, French or Portuguese, accentuate international words that you recognize and know. If you attend a Manu Chao concert, just sing “na-na-na-na-na-na…MARIJUANA!”

Share the love. If you bring your own booze and a million extra plastic cups, distribute them to the people around you. If a lady refuses to accept your kindness, cram the plastic cup into her hands. The moment that rosé wine lands in her cleavage, cry out “Oééééé!”

Taking girls onto your shoulders is much appreciated, but if you want to be worshiped as a real hero, you have to do better. Spot a guy already with a girl on his shoulders and take him onto yours by surprise. It looks especially impressive after you’ve had a few too many beers. Girls like it when being all wobbly adds additional excitement to seeing broken pieces of glass on the ground from three meters high.

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