First Anniversary


First Birthday Chilanga : Exported

Yes, one year ago today, I had the day off work – very bored – and decided to start a blog. My very first post was about American Football, because we were in the middle of the main season of the NFL, and watching the Denver Broncos every Sunday.

Then let’s face it, things got a bit boring so taking general topics made it a lot easier to write. And here I am, Chilanga : Exported. I enjoy the blog, it’s like I’m talking to everybody but nobody.

Thank you to all my lovely 90 or so followers, your comments and opinions have kept me motivated and happy while writing about a lot of different things, and I just hope I can keep you entertained for as long as I can!


What does Ryanair, the Olympics and Dallas Cowboys have in common?

You’ve got to put everything in a clear plastic bag. Ta da! The NFL have banned rucksacks and handbags from the stadium. My previous blogpost (reposted from Coach Misti) argues that this is a woman-hating initiative, however I’m going to try and sit on the fence because I do mostly agree with her on this one.

Now my old company was a plastic bag manufacturer so I didn’t mind because everything was plastic bags anyway. I was using pink French plastic bags in the bin in the bathroom and big woven ones to throw all my clothes in when I moved house those four times. For the last six years plastic bags were great! Now I’m not there anymore maybe my real feelings can come out.

Anyway, men sometimes have it so lucky – I remember going to clubs when I was at uni and stressing about what bag to take, is it big enough, does it go with what I’m wearing, will it get yonked off my shoulder by some mad student thief? Then what else do I need to take, little money holder or big jabba normal everyday purse with all my cards in, do I need an umbrella, is it strong enough to hold my jacket if there’s dancing but I don’t want to pay for the cloakroom? While the boys in our block just shoved their phone, keys and wallet in their pocket and they’re good to go.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t leave the house with a suitcase but I like to be prepared.

  • Example 1 is Ryanair or any other airline, I think this is actually a good idea from a practical sense as well as the terrorist angle. Even on the 12 hour flight to Mexico I take my mascara, eye liner and blemish stick with me on the plane so I can whip it out quickly when I get off and redo my eyeliner before meeting my Daniel who I haven’t seen for a week.
  • Example 2 is the Olympic Games in London, I guess again for terrorist reasons. We get off the train in Coventry, hearded onto a bus, we’ve got our regulation sized Mexican flag and made sure we only bought our visa cards. Then we get to the stadium and you all crowd round a little table and have to empty everything out, we had our bag out, pockets, contents of our wallet and purse, loose in a clear plastic binbag, sealed with a special tape, until we passed security. Why, why why? Just so annoying that you have to empty everything out just to put it back in again ten meters down the path.
  • Example 3 is now the Dallas Cowboys – Not just the Cowboys, but the whole NFL. I just think that for a family atmosphere it’s totally unreasonable and completely impractical.


I do come from the generation that smuggled vodka and coke into music festival arenas by just pouring it in the coke bottle and pretending it’s coke all along, and maybe I popped a spliff in my bra – it wasn’t for me but it was a convenient hiding place. Everywhere you go your bag is checked, museums, gigs, airports. There’s got to be a limit somewhere hasn’t there? Ok it’s only £6.50, but you are a four-person family going to watch the game and suddenly you can only use a plastic bag to put four sets of sandwiches, four sun-hats, four jackets, a tablet or two to follow other games on the internet, four bottles of coke, four items of supporter-wear (I’m thinking foam-finger, flag) and whatever tat you buy from the souvenir shop? And more often that not it’s going to be the woman that has to carry it, so all that let alone all the other crap women have in their bags.

Purse, house key, car key, clicker for carpark gate, security card for work, phone, hairband, suncream, bonjela, pen, chapstick, fan, details for my student loan in order to call them, shopping vouchers, weight watchers membership card, compact mirror, lipgloss, small purse for that time of the month, umbrella = 19 items, 20 including the receipt I threw away before taking the picture. Come on Football, remember your women!

Compromise: I Follow Sports Because He Follows Pinterest

So I like this post, it says a lot about why I’m blogging too. I can’t say I want to watch Britain’s Got Talent, but I certainly don’t want wall-to-wall football (we are even watching the Confederations Cup at the moment – which I hadn’t even heard of until this year).

Our compromise is that Daniel goes out and watches the football with his friends at the Walkabout, and I can stay in and catch up on Guides work, or pretend I remember what’s happening in Eastenders, or that I watch Made in Chelsea on a regular basis.

I think the lucky thing is that I used to go and watch the Villa with my Dad and sister when I was younger, so I’m quite happy to get my coat on and catch the train up to Villa Park. I think the Olympics helped too, the whole country got a sporting injection and there are so many more cyclists and rowers now than there was two years ago, and we all got interested in the lesser known sports like Shooting and Canoeing…

Anyway, I’m mainly happy to watch the football, and American football, and the Grand Prix :

Katherine – What other sports do you watch on telly?

Daniel – That’s the only thing they show here!

Katherine – What? What else would you watch?

Daniel – The Basketball! I’m going to sweep the floor

This conversation actually shows our compromise perfectly. We share the telly and we share the cooking and we share the housework.
But I’m doing this blog to try and learn more about American Football, who’s who, how to play, what the hell is going on…



Before I continue this article, I was told to make clear that pinterest also has good things for men too. Ross- “It’s not about the site, it’s about the actual content”

I know that we all have the idea of finding that one person out there that loves all the things we love. They wouldn’t change a thing about you. They want to do all the things you
want to do and watch all the things you want to watch. And at the end of each day you’ll skip off into the sunset in a field of white lilies hand and hand. Now I know it
sounds crazy, but it’s completely possible right?… WRONG, it’s crazy.
We all know that with all good things come some bad. So he may want to watch sports and you want to watch America’s got talent. You want to go for a walk by…

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Top 5 NFL Hairstyles

P1040296So this is how it all pulled together, I can’t believe it was four weeks ago now. I’m still practising with my hair, found another couple that look easy. Anyway, this is the premise for a quick look at the weird and wonderful hairstyles of the National Football League.

NFL Hair

 5. Long Hair. About a year ago it started to get quite popular to follow the likes of Argentina with long hairstyles. The first thing I will say is just imagine the sweat. The dreads maybe not so much, but that Green Bay Packer there, it looks matted already. However, as most of an American Football match consists of standing around rather than running, maybe it’s not too bad but I’m sure that helmet doesn’t help.

named one of the Hottest Football Players of the NFL by cosmo... go RED! #ginger Definitely NOT a Bengals fan, but do enjoy watching him play!

4. Ginger. I think in the US it’s not such a curse to have ginger hair. So I just had to point out this guy, Andy Dalton, Cosmo says hot, I would say not.

3. Rainbow. You get massive hats, vuvuzelas, and curly wigs in all sorts of colours at the European football, mainly in the UK, and maybe the not-so-.great footballing nations like Switzerland. Ok, so I have in the past been known to dye my own hair, pink, purple, white blonde – for music festivals – in Germany. I’ve also been known to paint a Mexican flag on my face to support them at the Olympics last year :

olym But this Sea Hawks fan I guess doesn’t have a day-job, or a wife, or a mirror…


2. The Rookie Mistake.  Oh Tim Tebow, this is brilliant / horrendous. Firstly, I hate any form of hazing, no matter how light-hearted or traditional or whatever. I hear it’s used for fraternity houses in the US, and Oxford University have had some bad press about it in the last few years too. So apparently in the NFL, players are kidnapped for where ever they feel safe, and taken to somewhere and had things done to them. This is the Bronco’s excellent example :

1. Antonio Garay. San Diego Chargers, enough said :

Superbowl vs Champion’s League Final

Jo Flacco vs Schweinsteiger, Colin Kaepernick vs Lewandowski – who wins in the ultimate competition? Admittedly, I am a tiny bit borrachita writing this post. Which is better?

Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers – NFL Superbowl 4th February 2013

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich – UEFA Champion’s League Final 24th May 2013

wpid-2013-05-25-19-55-11.jpgLet’s start with the much more reasonable timing, they are playing at Wembley, London – “The Cathedral of Football” according to Daniel. It’s 20h30 here, it’s 20h30 at the match itself. Instantly better, no?

  • Saturday night + beer + lie in = great game
  • Sunday night + crisps + 6am start = not so great

Let’s also go for the teams, OK so this year not so good it’s an all German final, but teams from all over Europe compete, so come on you can have Barcelona vs Man U, Milan vs Ajax, Porto vs Monaco – they don’t even speak the same language, that’s how lovely and diverse Europe is. What about the Superbowl? Oh, it’s Denver vs Falcons, Ravens vs 49ers, Green Bay Packers vs the stupid Patriots, all Americans… Where’s the competition? As Adrian Chiles just said : “Two great teams, playing great football in a great venue”

What next? Advert breaks! It’s currently half time, and we are at an ad break, we’ve just had 45 minutes of uninterrupted play. No way?! Yes güey, Tsss… Another winner for for Champions League. Do you know what? In a minute they’re going to cut to the studio, talk about the game (I bet it’s Gareth Southgate), then another one ad break and yes – back to the game for another 45 minutes!

The commentators :

  • Adrain Chiles – oh my god he’s proper grey now!
  • Roy Keane – from Ireland, because he’s had a lot of international experience
  • Some Random – we don’t know who he is, he used to be in Match of the Day on BBC
  • Gareth Southgate – Ex-Aston Villa defender, famous for missing a penalty against Germany at Euro ’96. Germany, seriously if there’s one team we hate the most it’s Germany (and France)…

Another advert break singing “the Chaaaaaaampiooooooons”. Yes.  Some discussion about the new X-Box…

Playing again now, and the diet coke is sobering me up. Daniel doesn’t want to play the Champion’s League Final Drinking Game, despite there being two Hoegaarden in the fridge. We actually saw two Dortmund fans at the train station today, clearly waiting for the train down, because the Chiltern does stop at Wembley. Boooo Angela Merkel. She doesn’t really look that interested there.

It’s Germany, why are they falling over like stupid Ronaldo? And Drogba (even worse)? I bet even Jo Flacco doesn’t even fall over on purpose and the tiniest touch, Superbowl wins this one.

Dortmund 0 – 1 Bayern. Bastards, we want Dortmund to win. They last won in Europe in 1997, Munich won in 2001. Maybe it’s that couple I saw earlier, or that Dortmund play in yellow, or that they are a true community club that love their supporters, I would just rather Dortmund won.

How many names can you laugh at in the Superbowl? Here we have Bender (no explanation necessary), Schweinsteiger (shouted in a proper 1940s German voice), Piszczech (piss check), Mueller (yoghurts) and of course, Subotic – pronounced Sugar Tits.

Glass Box

So, something stupid happened and I stopped blogging. Basically it all got really really busy at work, the NFL season ended, I found other things to do at 9pm on a Sunday evening, my car is broken, I turned 30 et cetera…

So this is my ultimate escape plan, out of this hole. So they moved me from my lovely window – at work. It all starts there. I don’t have a view anymore, no more daydreaming – I now have to sit and involve myself in office politics. My role there has changed beyond my expectations. This is the Glass Box – not from my desk, but from the ground floor looking up. It’s a pressure cooker and we are constantly being kept in the dark about the “bigger picture”.


So this is what happens : I get up from my desk, drive for a bit and talk to another company about it and they want me to join them instead! So that’s it. Good Bye Glass Box.

Ok, it’s not rocket science, or a massive quest for enlightenment, but it’s my escape. Today is T-15 days!

Kick off Super Bowl XLVII

Aaaahhh! We think the coin toss goes San Francisco’s way, we didn’t really understand it. And we’re back to the studio while the US are at an ad break.

Oh my god it’s available in Spanish!! Do that now! Kick off! (And now I kind of want to go to bed – with my 49ers bear!)

Here I am, with the bear, supporting the 49ers of course!