The madness begins…
Had a day yesterday you can only have at the World Cup. Saw 3 teams, a nation out of their heads and heard the sounds that made Jericho´s walls crumble. Decided to leave Pretoria early morning, since – sorry mates – it was boring. A city of administration buildings and embassies, wide one way streets, no proper city center, and predominantly Afrikaner, so… a Rugby place. I stayed in a neighbourhood called “Hadfield”, so I should have been warned.
Anyhow, I packed, got on my bike, and whilst about to leave the Slovak (or was it the Slovenian) team checked into the neighbouring Hotel. 20 fans were waiting, and the obligatory dancing group.
But I was off to Jo´burg, and on check in the moderator for German national broadcaster ZDF and his team came up, impressed by the Berlin number plate of my bike, before dropping the story they had in their heads when they heard lazy assed me flew the bike over. So I missed my 5 minutes of fame.
Nevermind. Instead, into the city, and…a sound…a noise…THE noise…imagine thousands of elephants at the gates of the city, blowing their trumpets for minutes. It was scary, impressive, and spooky. It turned out that at 12 noon everyone was asked to blow his Vuvuzela, and, man, what a sound. From all corners of the city, a sky filled with a deep fanfare, shooting down your spine and up…Whoohoo!
Then I was getting lost with the bike, heading into derelict areas with ten thousands of African immigrant workers living in shocking war-like conditions, stopping at a small stadium where the Serbian team did a public training and saw Vidic (I guess at least it was him), 200 fans, maybe… before heading off to Sandton, where 100.000 fans gathered to see the Bafana Bafana beng driven around in a bus.
Sheer madness. This must have been the wildest welcome a team 90th in the FIFA rankings ever received. I ended the evening with an invitation to a House Club opening by a South African mixologist, and had a Springbok pie..
Man, what a place. One thing is sure, if Cape Town is the Auntie that knits a cap for her nephew in the national colours because she has heard some sports thing is happening, Jo’burg is the nasty, racous 22 year old that does not miss an away game ever, sits in the Ultra curve,and is ready to give it all.
Any thing else then a win tomorrow against Mexico would be a disaster for the mood here..
Exciting, it is all exciting, in a childish, Christmasy way…
(EDITOR’S NOTE – The following video is Andreas finding out from those in the know exactly who will win the World Cup on the 11th July)