It's virtually audible or feelable or something, an electrical undercurrent flowing through the city, like a schoolchild anticipating the holidays. It is everywhere - on TV the tear-jerker (I know, I know... I'm a cry baby), patriotism-inducing ads, flags flap in the (rather polar at the moment, despite a beautiful huge blue sky) air from every lamp post, cars are adorned with flags and ears (nifty SA flag bonnets you tie onto your side view mirrors.) All over the place there is a frenzy of it. World Cup spirit. It's contagious, and delicious.
Despite our national team being, well, not on the top of the list at the bookies, the spirit is palpable, we love our boys, despite their rather dismal performances of late, because they're OUR boys, and if there's one thing this country is good at, it's mustering up spirit. We're a nation that loves singing and dancing and occassion and we are gasvry (an Afrikaans word that just doesn't have a good English translation, it basically means we are welcoming, we like visitors, we want to make them love it here.)
I'm not a huge soccer fan, but this seemed too big to miss, so it was with great excitement that I went down to the FIFA ticketing office to pick up my tickets on Friday (lucky Shiny is going to three matches.) There was a long queue, the 'system had gone down', a queue awash with bright yellow football t-shirts, of old and young, every colour of our nation, all smiling and talking to each other. That spirit hovering and singing and dancing amongst them.
It's just, well, fabulous really. How can anybody not get sucked into it?
1 day ago