Thursday, August 19, 2010

Travel Thursday: South Africa Day 3

The best way to describe day three in South Africa: patriotic.

I never knew that I was so patriotic! Despite the feverish purchasing of an endless supply of red, white and blue before the trip, I had no idea I'd be so darn proud to wear it in South Africa.

The game was at 4:00 pm, but it still monopolized the entire day. Of course, not waking up until 9:00 am helped. After breakfast and showers and email checking, it was time to catch our shuttle.

We took the earliest hotel shuttle to the game and we were in with a group of funny, drunk, loud New Yorkers. They had wanted to stop by the bar where all of the American fans were meeting before the game. After a lot of back and forth - the bar wasn't close enough to walk to the stadium - they managed to get our shuttle driver to drop us off, transport the other group, and then pick us up again to get us to the stadium.

I'm glad it worked out. The bar was INSANE. American fans were packed inside this tiny bar, singing and yelling and doing a whole lot of drinking. It took forever for us to get a drink. And, while we were doing so? We met a kid from our very small hometown. What's the chance of that?!

There was this dad there with his son. The son was maybe 15, had a full set of braces and was clearly having his first bar/drinking experience. "Come and take your picture with my boy," the dad said to us. "I want his picture with some pretty girls." We obliged, of course, and the kid looked like he was going to pee himself. Hilarious.

When we were standing outside of the bar, we posed for photos with a few locals, too. I guess a pair of sisters all decked out in red, white and blue isn't something that you see every day?

The shuttle dropped us off two blocks from Ellis Park. We walked to the stadium, marveling at how many other Americans were attending the match against Slovenja.

When we got to the stadium, we had a bit of a surprise. The seats at Ellis Park are backwards (to us, anyway). Row Z is the first row of the stadium. We were sitting just eight rows from the field!

Meg had packed her zoom lens. As a result, we have a lot of amazing shots. Such as this one, of my boyfriend, Carlos Bocanegra.

Yeah, I'd hit that.

The game itself was incredibly fun, even though the American had that one goal called back (which apparently everyone in America was talking about for days?) and it only ended in a draw.

We went back to the hotel in the shuttle with the hilarious New Yorkers. We headed out almost immediately after we got back for Sandton, an area where we had plenty of restaurants to choose from and where we could fit in a bit of shopping, too. We had our hearts set on watching England-Algeria that night and, wouldn't you know, there's really no such thing as a sports bar in South Africa. Well, not our idea of one: with bad food and televisions plastered on every surface.

Instead, we found a restaurant that had a few televisions and, luckily, got a table where we could see the match. Sort of. It didn't really matter. We had warm food (pasta!) and good drinks and we were all blissed out in the joy that was the World Cup.


Unknown said...

um, your new boyfriend is hot. Will you pass him my way when you're done with him? ;)

PS. Just think of all the 15-year old boys who will be sooo jealous of that kid for hanging out with the two hottest girls in South Africa! Heehee!!

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