So on he went and drove around the back of the stadium and parked up near where a few other coaches were dropping off. We were at the back of the aisle when we could hear a bit of commotion down the front, and were wondering why no one had got off yet. We were locked in, the door wouldn’t open.
People pulled at it, the driver pushed all the buttons he could, but still it wouldn’t open. Eventually, someone grabbed the emergency hammer and smashed the panel next to the door that runs the automatic doors, and then prized the doors open.
So having supposedly arrived at 5.00, we found ourselves running from the coach to the ground at 8.15 in an attempt to make it in time for kick off. Having not eaten or used the bog all day though there were other priorities before we looked for our seats.
Somehow, we pushed our way to our seats, freshly relieved and Boerwors roll in hand, just in time for the players to be walking out onto the pitch.
As far as the game goes, I’m sure I’m sure its been dissected to death in the UK press by now so I’ll leave that side of it. Other than to say the last time I went to an England away game was Croatia in 2006 for the Euro qualifiers, the death knell for Robinsons England career. Let’s hope I don’t inspire a hat trick of goalkeeping fumbles this Friday.
Another thing I noticed was that despite laughing at and looking down at the US fans for the past few days, I came to the realisation that a good section of our own fans are even worse. Some of the clueless idiots could even rival some of the whoppers in ES2, whilst others moan more than the West Stand. The songs haven’t changed for the past 60 years either. Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen and the cringeworthy German bombers and No Surrender. Chatting to some of the US lads after..once I’d got past laughing at their mowhawks and stars and stripes emblazoned faces, they were more clued up about the Premier League (or Prem-hire League as they preferred to call it) and England team in general than most of our own fans.
So the game ended and off we rushed for the coach, praying it would be where we left it. It wasn’t but we found it soon afterwards at the back of a nearby field behind several other parked up coaches. The difference was, our coach was in complete darkness, locked and with no driver, whilst the others were busy filling up and driving off.
We waited and waited, in darkness and freezing temperatures but still no driver. We could only hazard a guess that he’d had enough and fucked off or gone looking for the Americans to show them where the coach was. Time went on and on and on but still he didn’t return. We’re all stood there shivering while the field is almost empty and no one else is left around. Then someone remembers the automatic doors were overridden earlier so we can just force our way back on. So the doors are broken open and we all sit down, in darkness but slightly warmer than the Antarctic conditions outside.
More times passes and still no driver and still no sign of the Americans. It passes midnight and people are falling asleep and others are coming to the realisation that we are going to be stuck in this car park forever.
It’s at this point that a Brummie decides he can’t get to sleep properly on his two seats so walks down the aisle to lie down on the back seat. He then erupts into laughter.
“You’re never gonna believe this. The cunt is asleep on the back seat”
“TAKE US HOME NOW YOU PRICK” he shouts at the top of his voice in the drivers ear. The driver jumps straight to his feet, looking like a rabbit in the headlights and then stumbles in a daze to the drivers seat.
The Americans however are still not on the coach. Its a third full, so there are at least 40 of them wandering around Rustenburg looking for us. The driver then decides to turn his phone on and it rings straight away. He answers with it on loudspeaker and the panicking voices can be heard loud and clear.
“WHERE ARE YOU??!”
“I am in coach”
“WHERE IS THE COACH?!”
The Brummie walks over and whips the phone out of his hand and starts to talk.
“You’ll get more sense out of me than this idiot. Right if you start to walk along….Shit the battery’s just died.”
We wait a while longer but at this point there is no way of getting in touch with them and quite frankly everyone is so pissed off that they couldn’t care less if a few Yanks are stranded in the middle of nowhere, as long as we get to go home.
Off we drive, out of the field. Or we attempt to and he somehow manages to get stuck on a road that is big enough to accommodate the turning of an articulated lorry. The Brummie gets up to try and guide him out. Every direction he gives, the driver seems to do the opposite. Then al
l of a sudden, he decides to put his foot down, thinking he can ‘speed’ out of the situation. Turns out he forgot to take it out of reverse and then next thing we hear is a thud and the scream of two people. The driver turns round. Smiles with the realisation he has straightened the coach up and drives off. The Brummie is stood there in disbelief.
“Ok. Hit two people. Possibly kill them. Just drive off?”
The driver doesn’t respond.
Four hours later and we’re finally back. The majority of the coach have got the driver to drop them off at the airport whilst the remaining three of us are dropped off back on the scrubland in downtown Jo’burg. It’s now 5.30 in the morning and the area is desolate apart from a couple of gangs roaming the streets. The entire area is litter and graffiti strewn with rows and rows of boarded up shops, right in the middle of the city. I’ve been to some pretty dodgy places before but I’ve never been as terrified as getting back here in the middle of the night, to be dropped off with no taxis in site and no idea how to get back.
As we’re walking across the car park, we see a couple of shadowy hooded figures heading towards us. My legs and hands are shaking and am just about to run when the hoods come down and its a couple of women who say they’ve been waiting since 12 for us to get back. We’re directed to the sanctity of a small security portacabin whilst they try and order taxis for us. As we get into the portacabin, we see 5 mowhawked Americans already in there. Out of the tens that had been left behind, these few had managed to hitch a lift back on another coach.
“We phoned up MDS on the way back to complain about the entire journey and the driver”
“What did they say” I asked them.
“They asked for the coach details and drivers name. I gave them the coach registration, drivers name and phone number”
“What did they say then?”
“They said the had no record of him or the coach.”
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