Jose Francisco Torres is an American soccer player who plays for Mexican club team Pachuca. And I believe he may have performed a miracle yesterday. You see, I had spent the last 4 days holed up in my Mexico City hostel room with a terrible case of Montezuma's (if you don't know what that is, just be thankful). I'm telling you, I'd never felt so sick in my life. So it was with great trepidation that I went to the airport on Tuesday to catch a flight to Quito, Ecuador, via Panama. Could I survive the journey? Would my actions force the flight attendants to put yellow caution tape around the airplane bathroom midway through the flight?
While pondering these questions and waiting for my gate to be announced, I noticed some fit athlete-types in black jumpsuits stroll past me in the airport. Sure enough, they were the soccer players for Pachuca, one of the best clubs in Mexico. And they were on my flight to Panama. I sat down next to some of the guys and started up a conversation. They weren't too interested in small talk (other than wanting to know what I thought of Chicas Mexicanas), but they did notice that I had a guitar case with me. So, they asked me to play something.
Breaking out my 625 peso ($48) Mexican guitar that I had recently bought, I began to play Juanes' "La Paga". The players sang along as one of their trainers video taped us. I asked them where Jose (Torres) was sitting, and the player above yelled out "Gringo!" Everyone in Mexico affectionately refers to him as "El Gringo Torres" because he plays for the US Men's National Team. When I had a photo taken with Jose after the flight, I believe that his Mexican-American heritage did something more than highlight the sillyness of national rivalry; I believe that it lulled a vengeful Montezuma back to slumber. Signing off, symptom-free from Quito.