I am, truly, the luckiest girl in the world. My friend D's husband phoned me on Monday to tell me he had got me tickets to the match last night. At my favourite stadium, there near the sea, below the mountain. Between Spain and Portugal (the match, not the stadium obviously.) To say I was a little excited would be a gross underestimation. Very excited? Still doesn't do it. Absobloodylutely ecstatically over the moon? That's a bit more like it.
Honestly, had you told me two months ago that I would be a football fanatic, I would've fallen about laughing, but having it here, in our backyard and seeing the fans, playing host, watching how people are loving being here, well.. I'm hooked. For now. Fear not, this will not be turning into a sports blog.
So, last night, we bundled up warmly, packed blankets, scarves and beanies, and headed toward the gorgeous stadium. The weather had been ridiculously miserable all day with cold wind blowing pelting rain in sheets, it didn't bode well for a comfortable match-watching experience but, hell, what's a bit of rain when seeing pretty Portuguese boys play stunning football with even prettier Spanish boys?
We needn't have worried though, The City Beneath the Mountain had obviously whispered into The Weatherman"s ear and explained we have guests and need to be hospitable because between them they cleared the weather up and The City put on her Sunday Best. At one point in the second half, she sent up the almost-full moon above the curve of the stadium roof - an African sky to be proud of.
And can those boys (with their cute little tushies) play soccer? Wow. I was amazed. Mainly, though, I watched the people and felt the incredible feeling of, um, I think the only thing you can call it is Humanity. 64 000 people crammed together, yelling and screaming and blowing vuvuzelas and a conglomeration of passion and, above everything else, a plethora of smiles. From everybody, to everybody.
Again, I am so proud - I watched real Spaniards and real Portuguese fans mingle with South Africans. South Africans dressed in Spanish/Portuguese clothes, faces painted, they were as passionate as the people from Spain and Portugal. Yet another testament to how we're embracing this World Cup.
And now our hearts and souls are with Ghana on Friday - our very own African team! Shall I stop gushing now?
22 hours ago