Monday, February 22, 2010

African Chronicles: Goooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!

On Wednesday we went to a soccer/football game/match. For one, it's a ZA thing to do, so we wanted to do it. For another, the game was in the World Cup stadium, so we thought it would be cool to see a match in the stadium, even if it was the MLS teams, not the national teams. The match was AmaZulu versus the Free State Titans, in case you're interested.

But first we decided to carouse down Florida Street. Florida Street (I always feel a little odd when names are so familiar. There is also a Boston and Chicago suburb in Durban) is famous for having a lot of restaurants, night clubs, art galleries and art deco architecture. As we walked along it we discovered that it did in fact have all those things. We even ended up at an art exhibit, complete with free samosas and passionfruit juice. We hopped along the street until it was time for the game to start.

The stadium is quite nice, as far as I can tell. I don't really make a habit of going to sporting events, but it did seem quite nice. The stadium has become a bit of a tourist attraction on its own since it opened a month ago, primarily because you can ride a cable car to the top of the arch the hangs over the stadium. There are actually 9 World Cup stadiums, but this is one of the bigger ones. We've seen 3 so far (also in Capetown and Port Elizabeth) but this is the best one in my completely uneducated opinion.

The game, sadly, was a bit anticlimactic. It was an experience being in the stadium, site of future world competition, but the game was still soccer. And when you don't have a vested interest in the teams, soccer is rather dull. Which is why people spend so much time getting drunk, blowing on their annoying plastic horns and generally being rowdy hooligans. And the hooligans would have been more entertaining, except this was a minor game in a giant stadium, so maybe 1/50 seats were filled. Wall to wall hooligans would be a sight to see, the occasional drunkard blowing a plastic horn is just annoying. But it was one of the view events that we've done with nearly all of our group, so the team building was good. And “our team” won, so that's better than if they hadn't. Narrowly.

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