Monday, June 14, 2010

Festivities

Last weekend felt like it stretched on for days, but I suppose it is because so many events and festivities were crammed tightly into just 3 days. 
Friday kicked off the madness as it marked the start of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup right here, in my homeland of South Africa, and the excitement that hung thick in the air was almost too much to contain.
The opening ceremony was held in Johannesburg, so all us Durbanites had to watch from the confines of a television, but we could still feel the vibe, even though we were miles away. 
I braved a trip down to the Fan Park on South Beach with a group of friends, wearing a hideous Yellow Bafana Bafana soccer shirt, which proves how much I love my country because I had always sworn I'd never be caught dead in on of those (yellow just isn't my colour)..
We went armed with flags, face paint, whistles and vuvuzelas, and what we saw when we arrived was nowhere near what we expected. There were about thirty thousand soccer fans at the beach, all kitted out in their supporting gear, from all corners of the globe (South Africans and Australians made up the majority). The place was buzzing with the most intensely amazing vibe I've experienced in a long time. 


(South Beach Fan Park - Friday)

We watched the game, almost cried singing the national anthem and acted like hooligans when South Africa scored their first goal. It was quite a night to remember, and I have officially contracted a severe case of World Cup fever.
Last night was the first match that was played in Durban, and I had the privilege of being there, right in the thick of all the action. It was golden.
I worked before the game, painting the faces of eager supporters. Met a lot of interesting folk. Man I love foreigners. 
After my shift, we went into the stadium to watch the remainder of the Australia vs Germany game, and I was rooting for the Aussies all the way. 
The stadium is magnificent, and works best with sixty thousand screaming supporters filling up every seat. 
I had the time of my life, although I felt very defeated when Aussie lost 4-0, but that's just how it goes.

I am such a genius and forgot my camera at home the entire weekend. I honestly rank a solid 10 on the idiot scale after that, but at least I captured one or two moments on my trusty Blackberry.
Here are a few pics that don't really do the weekend any justice, but at least I tried.


(The stadium before the match. Calm before the storm - Sunday)


(The match in action. Spot all the Aussie supporters in the right hand corner)


(Durban Stadium by night. Isn't she beautiful?)


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