Saturday, June 19, 2010

Days 7 & 8

 To tell you the truth, I don't remember too much what happened on Day 7.  I know Colin went to play with baby lions, but he'll have to tell you about that.  Day 8 however was epic.

We started the day out with a nice hearty breakfast prepared by Lu.  It was super good.  Then we got dressed and headed out in a 12 person van to Ellis Park, the historic site of South Africa's World Cup of Rugby Championship back in 1994 or 1995.  Along the way, we sang a chanted USA songs to the people on the street corners who were loving it.  Once we got to the stadium, we stood out side and got in a bit of a shouting match with some Slovenian fans.  We won, and I lost my voice later in the day because of it.

We went into the stadium which was awesome.  Now back in the states, lettered rows normally go up, row A being the first row and Z the last, so when we had row U, I thought we'd have good seats but be a bit of a ways up.  Well at Ellis Park they count down, so we were in the 8th row!  Amazing seats in a great soccer stadium.  We ended up sitting next to the same guys from our bus trip to Rustenberg, and we ended up taking some vuvuzela bongs (beer bongs, using vuvuzelas).  Let me tell you, not easy.

The game was crazy.  We all thought it was over when we went down 2-0, which made our celebrations in the second half all the more insane.  So much so, Mitch and Colin broke a chair in half basically.  When we thought we had the 3rd game winner, I'm pretty sure I tore my calf in half .  Too bad we found out that the goal would be called back (and after seeing the replay, what a crap call!).  Oh well, it just means that the 3rd game matters now which is all we could have asked for.  Win and we are in!

After the game, we were supposed to meet back at the same spot the van dropped us off.  Along the way there were large school groups dancing and singing in the streets.  Cammy and I gave them a USA flag, Cammy's scarf, and my gloves and they kept doing USA cheers.  It was pretty cool.  What wasn't cool is that we couldn't find Kris.  We went home hoping that he caught a cab there after waiting for an hour but no such luck.  After waiting for 3-4 hours, Preston and I started calling the cops and the embassy to start putting some kind of search in motion or at least getting stuff on record.  Right as we finish doing all that, Kris shows up at the house hammered after hitchhiking home. 

We then took a cab out to Stones, which is a giant club in Edenvale with multiple rooms and DJs.  We ended up seeing a very popular South African rapper, Jack Parrow, there with a cult following.  He was ok, kinda, but the people there absolutely loved him.  As a Californian, I was struggling with the smoking indoors thing.  It was a non smoking facility, which apparently meant nothing to the people inside.  As Cammy point to a no smoking sign, a guy literally lit up right under it. 

Mitch, Andy, Cammy, and I decided to leave early. We were told to walk across the street to the BP station to catch a cab.  No cabs there, so we asked the gas station attendant for a number to call.  He then pulled a number out of his cell phone.  I called, and it was definitely just some guy, not a cab company.  As we waited for him to show up, I remember telling the group that I've yet to feel unsafe here at all this trip.  Well that was all about to change.

This cabbie pulled up in a Benz which was falling apart and sounded like it was preparing for rocket take off.  The taxi sign on the top of the car looked like a small table tent that he wrote on himself.  After we got in, we all quietly said our goodbyes to each other and started hatching silent escape plans if things went south.  The car could only go about 40 tops on the freeway, and the last stop sign we came to, the car literally started shaking.  However, we made it home somehow.  Once again, just when you think something is slightly sketchy, the South African people always pull through.


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