Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ice Hockey... in Merida

Most of you already know that Merida, the formerly white city, now boasts among its many attractions, an ice rink where public skating is offered to those Yucatecans (and people who have that aspecto fuereño thing going on) brave enough to overcome their reluctance to rent skates that were worn by who knows who and take to the ice.

Located in the Galerias Liverpool mall, the ice rink is also used for - get this - hockey practice! Being a Canadian, it was certainly strange to observe a group of kids ranging from 6 to about 14 years old decked out in full hockey regalia, shooting frozen pucks around the rink while shoppers and passersby watched with interest and amusement.

What I thought was interesting was that when the practices were over and a little scrimmage or mini game was played, it became evident that the referees (teenage kids) did not have a whistle! I can't envision any kind of hockey practice without the shrill sound of a referees whistle, and it did seem to make it harder for the referees to get their point across during the practice.

But the overall impression was of how small the world has become, when you can buy salsas El Yucateco in any grocery store in Canada and play (or watch) ice hockey in Merida.


Jonna said...

I loved watching the kids learn to play hockey. I know nothing about hockey, not being Canadian, but since we are camped next to Liverpool it was a great place to have coffee on a July afternoon. It did seem that there was a lot of enthusiasm out there and even some budding skills. A Mexican hockey team is rather like the Jamaican bobsled team in my mind.

1st Mate said...

Hope the kids don't get into that roughhouse blood-on-the-ice thing the Canadians (and Minnesotans and their ilk) get into on the rink.

William Lawson said...

Welcome aboard, 1st mate. Well if you've seen Mexicans playing soccer aka futbol, you know they get pretty passionate. Give 'em a stick, skates and throw 'em on some ice, and we can expect some interesting fusion there! Remember, this is a culture that still likes it's bulls poked to death! Fun!

Grant said...

It must be the appeal of the exotic.

As a native of Los Angeles, I always wondered that they got anyone to go see the local hockey team, which probably had no members born south of the 50th parallel. LA, of course, is largely a city of transplants, so maybe that's who goes to the games, but for us natives, hockey is as alien as the astronauts golfing on the moon.

I can't imagine the Merida locals having any better idea of hockey than we do here in LA. I wonder how much it costs to keep all that ice frozen....