A World Class Host Nation: A Report Back of Actual Events
Yes ladies and gents, we made it back from a SOCCER match, safe and sound. All in one piece, still carrying all the paraphernalia we went with, including 2 kids and a wallet full of cash.
You see we were very kindly afforded an ONCE IN A LIFETIME experience by a very kind lady, tickets to the BRAZIL vs. CHILE game on MONDAY night in the deepest darkest part of AFRICA, DOORNFONTEIN JHB, yes the black hole of sport, ELLIS PARK. Arguably the WORST positioned stadium out of all the stadiums being used in the world cup. Honestly, it’s a hole. The area is completely off limits during normal life, YET they have transformed it into a TOURIST FRIENDLY SPORTS venue. They say……
So off we drove, following the map on our SPECIAL PARKING TICKET. We arrived at the POLICE BLOCKADE on Jo Slovo drive, flash them the parking ticket, and just like the red sea, the barricades parted and in we drove. Our kids were amazed at how we were the only car on the three lane highway. At every police check point the same happened, eventually we could drive no further as we had arrived at our allotted parking spot, magically, as if all those cops were only there to direct us. We had a little walk down the road to the stadium, passing all the vendors who looked liked they had not sold a thing to anyone. We flashed our tickets at the OUTER PERIMETER check point and VOILA, we were in. A short walk dodging PHOTO TAKING FOOTBALL FANS and we arrived at the main turnstiles. Pop your barcode in the machine and round you go….IN THE STADIUM!!! This is when you know, IT IS HERE! FEEL IT!! The GEEEEEEES was here, big time. All types of people, from all over the world, with an amazing common goal, to have the biggest party humanly possible.
There must be 5 FANS to one USHER, the bright orange clad jackets were all over the place, not to mention the green VOLUNTEERS. If you just looked lost or worried they would offer assistance. It was really a good effort! It worked like clockwork. We walked around absorbing the moment, taking pictures, making phone calls, and we got some overpriced yet surpisingly not to crap beer in brown bottles, that filled the plastic cups just perfectly. We managed to hook up with some mates and then we were off to our seats.
My son and I behind the CHILLI goals and my wife and daughter behind the BRAZIL goals. WHAT A JOL! the CHILEANS loved my little boy! He became their mascot instantly! They are one hell of a cool bunch of supporters. Even when the BRAZIL team scored twice in the first half it made no difference, in fact it increased their spirit, they sang louder and beat the drums harder. The second half we managed to make it over to my wife and daughter and took up two empty seats next to them (what a luck) this was in an area reserved for SOUTH AFRICANS…… BOOOOOOORING!! jeepers, you would swear South Africa had already been knocked out of the world cup….No worries, we would not let it spoil our night. We had fun!! We managed to see all three gaols up close!
We left on the full time whistle, walked out the stadium, got into our car and drove straight home. In the house by 10:45pm, not bad hey? A brilliant night and a memory I wish upon every South African! Go for it! try get some tickets, you will not be disappointed! We sat next to 4 stereotypical “dutchman” ex-naysaying south africans….ear plugs and all, yet they could not stop talking about how cool the whole WORLD CUP was. They were very happy!!!!
I take my MAKARAPA off to the LOCAL ORGINISERS, you have outdone yourselves, let’s keep it up beyond the world cup!