World cup mayhem - project me day 162

13 June 2010

The sun didn't go down on the world cup despite a few crazy moments

I feel like I haven't blogged in days and can't believe the impact the world cup has had on my life in just one weekend.

I promised an update on the events of the big day and find myself with such mixed emotions for so many reasons that I'm battling to settle myself down to write. Last night my Knight, Greggie and I went to watch the USA/England game and after he asked when last I felt like I really didn't want to blog. It's only really happened about twice so far ... and now I'm going for number 3!

It's because I have to tell you about two of the craziest experiences that the world cup presented to me and how it all made 'project me' so profound and 'in my face' that I have to actually live the promises I made myself.

Fun!!! Goalless!! Purposeful!!
Ok, so the goalless is not the best advice for anyone else but me right now, considering the whole world is waiting in antici-p-ation for goals.

Once the dust had settled and we made it to soccer city, the vuvuzelas helped lift the spirits

I'm in a lot of chaos in my head as I blog and reminisce about my world cup opening ceremony experience, which seems to be very different to the majority of the 90,000 people who were sharing just as much anticipation and pride that the moment had finally arrived.
I'm very patriotic and feel that I need to stand on a soap box and make sure that everyone knows that loud and clear before I let rip about the diabolical time that I had building up to the kick off Bafana Bafana vs Mexico game and then the events that dragged me home after.
Patriotically, I am about to bitch and moan like never before since the start of 'project me'.

My day began with so much excitement, a whole lot of yellow, South African flag tattoos on my cheek and a vuvuzela in my hand. It all seemed to be going perfectly according to plan, even when we hung out in the parking lot of Constitutional Hill for well over an hour there was still an amazing vibe. Even when people were pushing into the bus queues after we had been standing waiting for that hour, our spirits were still high. But when we hit the center of town and there was gridlock traffic and our resident South African taxi's driving up the bus lanes head on toward the buses ... that's when the mood changed! With less than 30 minutes to be seated in the stadium to see the opening ceremony ... that Greggie had pain a small fortune in tickets for ... we were going nowhere at all. There were no cops to be seen and the intersections where just ... well ... typically African!

I expected this awesome atmosphere on the bus but you could cut the tension with a knife. Yes, we had the odd giggle at the fact that 'only in Africa' but besides that ... we had all anticipated this moment and just wanted to be there.
Needless to say I bitched and moaned all over Facebook and Twitter! I then arrived at soccer city just in time to see the flyover from outside the stadium in a mass of people who didn't exactly know how the system worked .. because only in Africa are there no signs to be seen.
In?hindsight?and because 'project me' is about making everything positive ... It does seem that we got a better view of the flyover from outside the stadium that from the inside.

Woo hoo ... we were finally inside and heading toward our block ... 225. The signs went like this 217 - 220 and 221 - 224! Yep ... no block 225! Let's go logical shall we ... go to block 224 and the next one will be 225. How clever ... if only! There were strangers in our seats. All of this is taking place while the opening ceremony is carrying on without us so we call a marshal over to direct us and ... yep ... she says we are in the wrong block an shuffles us away. Oh look ... another marshal ... this one takes us back to where we began and leads us right back to the strangers who were STILL in our seats. While Greggie was amongst the marshals and the strangers sorting out the mayhem, another marshal taps me on the shoulder and tells me to take my seat because she's seen I've been wondering around for ages.
Did you hear the screaming from block 225 across the world? You should have ... it happened! If you though vuvuzelas were deafening ... they ain't got nothing on me when I'm told that I'm in the wrong amongst the chaos created by the very people causing my chaos.
Ok ... now we really finally get to our seats when the stranger shuffle off and ... just as I'm about to settle down and sit ... coke!!! Yes ... a fountain of coke comes cascading from up above and christen's Greggie and my experience thus far. There, staring at me with amused grins, are two very cute brothers who tell me it's just coke and I'll be fine ... I can lower my jacket from over my head, put a smile on my face and watch the end of the opening ceremony. Oh wait ... it's over! Yep ... I got to see them rolling up the mats! Period!!

I know that everything is about finding the fun in the chaos, even if you have to fake the smile to start

Hanging out before the game started gave me a chance to get?acquainted?with the brothers sitting next to me. Older brother and younger one sitting next to me (remember this ... it's important).
Greggie decides it's time to dash off for hot dogs and water ... coz it's so not South African beer at the African world cup! He has less tolerance than me, so maybe I should have been the one searching for food at a signless stadium and then charged another small fortune for a hot dog before being told that they had run out of sauce ... and the game hadn't even started yet! Oh ... there's more ... they had run out of change too!

Amazingly, we still made the most of it and I snapped into 'project me' mode, reminding myself that there is fun in all of this and I was still at the greatest even SA had witnessed. I did good and we settled into having a fab time ... while I settled into bonding with the not so stranger sitting next to me.

The Mexican dude sitting in front of me and the poor guy who tried the entire game to get Shosholoza on the go ... well they helped my spirits a whole bunch. Watching Bafana play for the first time in the world cup also gave the spirits a great boost and so did the fact that I have the ability to live true to my word and see the fun in everything ... once again, not a great time to be goalless!

In a crowd of 90,000 I sit next to someone who has impacted my life even if it's for the brief moment of the game or for a little longer. Dammit ... staying in the moment is a bitch!!
I don't kinda know what to day ... but in this very moment ... right now ... two souls searching for someone found that someone in block 225! I tried to fight the connection the entire game, but who was I kidding ... no wait ... I'm still trying to fight the connection and there have been like 6 or so games since the first whistle blew. I can tell you a whole lot of reasons why I can make this whole meeting of two people amongst a mere 90,000 so wrong ... but that's not fair to him or to me!

I'm not even planning ... I'm just being! Ok ... that's crap! I'm fighting my ego and my brain ... Um ... isn't my ego my brain anyway? Who knows ... I'm fighting it! I go from being chilled with being in the now to freaking out about 20 years down the line. Back to being fine with having had a fleeting moment to in a total state that he doesn't feel the way I do.
How do I feel again? Um ... well that depends on what second you ask me!

Did you gather that this is one of the reasons I haven't been able to blog? What the hell do I say? I promised to share my life and my thoughts ... but what if tomorrow I have to report back on yet another broken hearted?disappointing? What if I let the perceived obstacles that could keep us apart ... actually keep us apart? What if he's really not that charming and not that cute and not that into me?
OMG ... this is 'project me' on acid! This is me having to pull in the reins and remember everything that I live and stand for ... have fun ... right now ... in the moment. Don't set goal ... just be full of purpose ... and that purpose is me and my happiness!

I'm gonna tell you what I told Greggie a few hours ago ... and then I'm going to go back to the soccer chaos ... I'm petrified! I'm PETRIFIED!

There are rumours that the Vuvuzela will be banned! I doubt it ... no one can deny the magical sound of Africa!

I love that we fought for the vuvuzela and won the battle. I love that we showed the world that we can commit to something and do it. I love that Bafana Bafana had a run of 12 wins and then kept their wits about them and drew for on the big day of their first world cup moment. I love being South African. I love Africa! Thanks to 'project me' and my best friend, who has the ability to laugh at the world and has taught me how to do it ... I love the end of my world cup saga too...

It's time to get home after a long day and what do you know ... no signs! We gather that we need to head back to where we came from in order to complete the trip on the park and ride. Oooh ... crowds of people just gathering in confusion. No one knows where to go and no gates are open to let us through. After a while a marshal arrives and tells us to stand to the left. We stand ... and stand ... and stand ... yet other people start to stand on the right. Then another marshal arrives and tell us that it doesn't matter whether you stand on the left or the right. So we continue to stand on the left ... and stand ... and stand. A few people stand for ages and then stray over to the right ... and what do you know, the mass of people start to shuffle through a gate. Only for a moment though and then the gate is yanked closed. Greggie and I decide to move to the right because it's so my intention to meet up with the brothers after we are out of the mayhem ... before we know it we are stuck amongst a sea off impatient, lost and tired individuals who blow the odd vuvuzela. Once again ... no atmosphere ... just signless confusion. As we slowly nudge forward I see Greggie lose a little more of his personality ... with brilliant reason ... there is no system at all and we are literally moving like cattle towards a gate that slowly opens and closes. Who goes through, how many go through ... it's all systemless ... people push and shove! Yet ... we all turn to each other and laugh ... 'only in Africa!'

I'm sure from the outside everything looked so organised and as if it were all running like clockwork ... well, by the time we got onto the bus heading home ... we realised that it was so far from clockwork ... it was now a joke! Not a high self esteem, see the good in everything laugh ... but freaking?ridiculous. We ended up standing on the bus because we just wanted to get home and without traffic it should have taken 15 minutes. Oh dear Lord ... not our bus driver ... he decided to take the scenic route through the center of town! I swear ... it took over 45 minutes to do a 15 minute trip. Once again ... no atmosphere ... just people screaming for the bus driver to head to Constitutional Hill. Yes ... we are a beautifully spirited nation because we all laughed with each other ... as exhausted and frustrated as we were. He patiently stopped at every bus stop in town and didn't let one person on or off and we patiently tried to direct the driver to our destination.

When we finally saw our destination from the side of the road, so did the bus driver and he merely stopped! Yep .. he stopped the bus at the bottom of the hill and flung one door open. Only one ... none of the doors at the back and he refused to ... he also refused to take us the rest of the way and we were offloaded onto the side of the road and shuffled off to walk the rest of the way! I did you not!

Do you wanna know what Greggie and I did? We hosed ourselves laughing! We cried with laughter! We decided to get rid of some tickets that we have for other games because we told ourselves the truth ... we are not that passionate about soccer! But we laughed like hell .. and by the time our aching feet and backs were back home and we were on the couch ... he had made it the time of our lives. A never to be repeated in our lives time of our lives ... but a very conscious, real and special one that can only be experienced through searching for the fun!

I did it ... I lived 'project me' amongst mayhem and chaos and?disappointment!
I've told my truth ... yet I haven't lost sight of my love for my country or the game.

I was reminded ... even if it's only for a fleeting moment ... that you can meet someone special in the most unusual of places ... and that 90,000 fade away when two strangers feel as though they have known each other for a few lifetimes.

To say the least ... the last few days have been totally overwhelming for me ... and they have only just begun!

6 comments on “World cup mayhem - project me day 162”

  1. Yay for the world cup... big pity I don't have any tickets... then again I should possibly be banned from attending the matches anyway. Way too much of a hooligan!

    Anyhow... had everyone at work gather, build a fire (in true SA style), burn some meat (nothing quite like a burnt offering) and cheer on the team from Hillcrest. I'm pretty sure that Bafana could hear us! 😛

    That said and done, I'm reckoning that Mexico is the team that'll take it all, so a 1-1 result was fantastic! 😀
    My recent post Football's Coming Home

    1. Ah Robbie, If you were any closer you could so be taking my tickets. It hasn't dampened from the spirits and we've been watching soccer all over town. Actually organising a big get together to watch bafana play again.

      I'm still holding out for a nice piece of meat cooked by yours truly one of these days! 😉

  2. Well that is so much more exciting than I though the news would be.
    This is why I love to read your blog. I can't believe how you managed to see the good amongst all the chaos. You are a great teacher for us all.

    Wow! Sitting next to someone special in a crowd of thousands. That is a beautiful story. Good luck and please keep us posted. I know you deserve a whole lot of loving.

    1. Thanks so much Jess! I have to admit that it's taking a whole lot of telling my ego to calm down in order to be ok in the moment.
      There is always a part of us all that knows there are a few choices for one situation and I have decided to just go with it. Freaking scary, but I'm doing it!

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