In the middle of the stripes was a mauve dragon—perfect juvenile icon. The woman said, “Saprissa”. “¡Saprissa!” I said. “¡No muy bien!” Saprissa is the name of the arch rival of Alajuela’s soccer team, LDA, which is short for Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. LDA is very important here; it has a long and glorious history. On game nights, if I am outside on the patio I can clearly hear the roar of the crowd and the muffled announcements crackling over the loudspeakers. I hope I will get to a game, if I can find out what nights there are games, how much tickets are and where I can get one.
There was no way I was going to buy a Saprissa ring. Then the woman held up another ring, red and black. ”Alajuela,” she said. Yippee. I got the LDA ring—not as pretty, but much, much more appropriate. $3. I paid and put it on and left the shop feeling like a local.