Guess that’s what happens when you are too busy with life to write down what’s going on! So after the Friday night soccer fever, we context-switched a bit. After some ungodly workout that I’m not inclined to remember or look up, and some lunch, a group of us headed over to Newlands to watch the Springboks (SA rugby team) take on the French in a friendly match. I drove, which was exciting mainly because we were passed on the way by the French rugby team bus and a police escort, causing great amusement in the back seat. I was amused that the team wasn’t already there 90 minutes before game time! Because I drove rather than taking a cab, we were not able to find the rest of our group for a good portion of the match, but that’s neither here nor there: I was there for the game, not to socialise. My ears were thrilled that vuvuzelas were banned at the stadium (as much fun as they are!).
So we were in the standing section behind one of the goals, as we didn’t realize there was a match on until a couple of weeks back and this was the only way a large group could all go together. Having said that, it was great because we were actually quite close to the field and packed in with the “real” fans who were more than happy to help sneak in Black Label (alcohol not being allowed in the stands – one very unfortunate aspect of this country; apparently the beer at the World Cup is FIFA again strong-arming the country) and teach me more words in Afrikaans. This mostly consisted of me listening, hearing a word I recognized way out of context and asking “why in the world are you talking about sleep (slaap)?” “We’re waiting for a French comeback; just wait, the Boks always fall asleep in the second half!” This followed by an explanation of some of the other words used. I also learned that one of the Boks is a chiropractor in Cape Town – man that would scare me, someone that strong leaning on my back!
The game? Well, it wasn’t much of a match as the French team was seriously outclassed. I think the Boks scored the first try within the first 2 minutes, and it was pretty much all downhill from there for the visitors. So, as this is the closest that I can get to American football in this country, it will do. Still, there’s nothing quite like a good NFL game!
Following the match I went to meet a friend from the U.S. and his friends over on Long Street. Oddly enough, on my way there I encountered a friend with whom I had lost a bet (yes, I bet on the Stanley Cup Finals. I’m a sucker for a bet, at least when there’s alcohol involved). So, my mission was to get my friend drunk so after he ate dinner (some damn good lasagne, I ate a bite) we headed to Zula to grab a seat on the balcony and watch the USA-England game.
Now this was amusing because the only other USA fan in the place was just embarrassingly drunk. At one point he was saying what bad luck he was, and he should just commit suicide so I suggested to my friend that he might jump off the balcony. Apparently I sounded serious, so it’s a good thing perhaps this guy didn’t hear me!
I’m sure by now everyone has seen the own-goal that the English goal keeper managed to score (credited to Clint Dempsey I believe). Now I’m a hockey fan; I’ll take a garbage goal any time but, well, still a bit embarrassed to tie the game like that. Less embarrassed writing this a week later after the USA’s lovely comeback (!) against Slovenia (!!), and England’s scoreless draw with Algeria (!!!).
Long story short, match over we drank some more then moved on to the Waiting Room (another of my faves, at least the roof deck), but it was far too cold for the roof deck. Even the guy from Calgary admitted it, but in his defence he was in a t-shirt and coming down with an illness. Then back to Zula where our friends were. Eventually I went home, realising that I had to be up in a couple of hours to meet my friends for our trip down the peninsula!