Right now is the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2010. I’m watching the game live, as I type. I’m sure the world is excited for this event, but its never the same as posting from the host country. I am definetelly not the first blogger to post about this event, and probably not the first from South Africa either. But each experience is unique.
I can’t speak for how the vibe is in other parts of the world or even here over past World Cups, as I’m really not much of a Soccer fan. But its hard when you’re living in the host country to not catch on with the hype as you see it everywhere. You don’t just see it. You Hear it. You feel it.
We never thought we’d be ready – and look at us now. Its been a very exciting day. I was out today in town walking the streets and I’ve never seen such excitement. This was at a time where there was as of yet no match being played, let alone in the city – and the vibe was awesome. The trees were wrapped with flags, flags hung everywhere and people were all over the show dressed up in their Bafana Bafana paraphanaelia. The country has never been so united, or so proud to be united. All over the show, cars have South African flags – on their dashboards, off their windows and over their car mirrors (I love love love mirror socks!!!).
How can we forget the sound of the Vuvuzela? The instrument which after the Confed Cup was meant to be banned. But oh no, no one can take this sound and spirit away from South Africans. We go to sleep hearing them in the distance, wake up hearing them in the morning, and continue to hear them all day. As I type, I hear them from the live match. Today, walking through town I saw masses of people carrying them as they walk, blowing them at odd moments whenever they felt like. But it doesnt matter when you blow, because somewhere nearby, another person is blowing theirs. Its like a mating call. The sound of South Africans coming together. And after our past, that in and of itself is something magical.
Its hard just not to be excited. This morning just getting in the car and hearing the radio changes everything, the media has all the power in the world to intice excitement. And theyre doing a fantastic job! On 5fm, a local radio station they were giving away tickets to each of the playing countries. All over facebook, South African statuses state “It is time” or other such phrases which capture their individual excitement. People posting about being proudly South African after watching the Kick Off Concert last night, last night people were at fan parks going crazy, everyone sharing their excitement with the world – or at least their facebook friends!
Friends of mine were up Table Mountain today, and even they heard the sound of Vuvuzelas all the way up there. Amazing. As we left town, yes so there was traffic but thats besides the point, we forgot that there was the opening match at 4 and everyone was going to the Fan Park. The ammount of people you see walking the streets to the same central point. Dressed proudly supporting Bafana. In all their crazy attire. We bring the magic. We bring the gees. Its enough to keep you entertained, or ina good mood all through the traffic.
This is what the country has been counting towards for the last 6 years. The Gautrain. The rapid transport system. The stadiums. All are ready. We’re clearly ready. Let the world see us shine.