We were unable to get tickets for the opening game so we decided to head to the Fan Fest in Sandton, north Johannesburg where they were showing it for free on big screens. From Melville where we’re staying it’s a 20 minute drive. Unfortunately public transport seems to be non existent over here so we’re forced to take taxis everwhere. It’s a total nightmare as each place is so spread out that you need to take a taxi anytime you want to go anywhere. It works out about a quid a minute too, so it’s not cheap. Cost £40 just to head to the Fan Fest and back. Two weeks worth of budget gone in less than 5 days so far.
The journey from Melville to Sandton was strewn with people honking horns and blowing their Vuvuzulas. It would only get louder and louder the closer we got to the Fan Fest. I got out of the taxi to cross the road when someone pulled up with the window down and blew a Vuvuzela right in my face, almost causing a coronary.
After passing through the most half arsed security checks I’ve ever witnessed we were in the Fan Fest, a kind of enclosed field on a slope with a huge stage at the bottom with screen up…not too similar to the field with the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury. If you closed your eyes it was like some B(ee) movie nightmare. Horrible, horrible, horrible. There were about 150,000 people in the field and three quarters of them had the dreaded Vuvuzela. Many of the rest of them had this new kind of awful instrument that seems to be catching on. Similar in size and look to a Kazoo but it makes the exact same sound as a screaming baby. Believe me, if you think the Vuv’s are bad, just pray these things don’t take over.
I know I’m going on about this a bit much but I can’t even begin to describe how loud it is. By half time it was so bad we had to leave. There were 3 of them right behind us, blowing them constantly. I turned round slighly to get one blast of it right in the ear. Thbe mornign after now it’s still hurting, convinced my ear drums been torn. I almost want to go out and make someone blow one down my other ear to balance my hearing up.
So we headed back and decided to watch the France Uruguay game in the relative peace and quiet of our lodge. and what a refreshing change it is to see some decent TV coverage with intelligent presenters speaking sense rather than having to suffer the moronic comments of Clive Tyldsley and Andy Townsend. Not to mention the smug Alan Shearer and Brazil bumming John Motson.
After the battering my head took from the noise yesterday, I was so tired that I was finally able to have my first decent nights sleep. Albeit full of the most bizarre and ridiculous dreams ever, one of them heavily involving Maurice Lindsey (no, not that kind of dream).
Sat around now waiting to get a taxi to the bus station for a coach into Rustenburg this afternoon. We arrive around 3 hours before kick off and by all accounts Rustenburg city centre is England’s equivalent to Leigh so maybe, just maybe I will get into the ground before kick off. Considering I’ve only made kick off a handful of times at the JJB/DW since it opened and have an even worse record away (including 50 minutes late at the Eindoven friendly a few years ago) then it’ll be no mean feat if I manage it today.
The return journey doesn’t exactly fill me with glee. We’re dropped off in the middle of Johannesburg’s Central Business District. An area that all the guide books warn is the cities most dangerous areas after dark and to “stay away from at all costs”. I can only hope there’s a few fat skinheads getting of the coach at the same point to protect me.
To finish off, I received a text this morning informing me that there was a South African in attendance at Northern Lights at Nirvana last night; armed with, yep you guessed it. A Vuvuzela. I’ve no idea how this guy ended up in Wigan with one of them, but if you’re reading this, please keep attending every week while I’m away and annoying the fuck out of everyone with it. As soon as I’m back though, you’re barred.
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