Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ivory Coast VS Brazil!

I went to my first and only World Cup match on Sunday. It was so awesome and now I wish that I was going to more matches!

The match was Ivory Coast VS Brazil. We obviously supported Ivory Coast as they are an African team and I am proudly African. It did make me a little sad to see so many South African people supporting Brazil and not an African country. That said the Brazil fans were great anyway and the spirit was fantastic!

We all got dressed up in the colours of the Ivory Coast Team and even had our faces looked great. We went to the match on one of the metro buses from Wits university. It was a totally stress free and I recommend it to anyone needing to get to a World Cup Match.

We got to the match early, got some beer (R30 for a Budweiser!), some dinner and then really got to be part of the spirit with the fans. We got involved with a Brazilian marching band, did some vuvezeling (me very badly), met fans from both sides and had our pictures taken by some international press!

The game then was awesome! We got to see Drogba score a goal and even though we lost, it was still great. I was also surprised how quickly it went. I think that I may now be a soccer fan! I definitely enjoy it more than rugby!

My best experience is when i met a "Brazilian guy" at the match. He thought I was from the Ivory Coast, I thought he was we took a picture together. Turns out his name is Llewellyn and he is from Montgomery Park...we live in neighbouring suburbs and we are both South African! It was really funny!

The World Cup is great and who knows...maybe I will make it to Brazil for the next one!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun around Town!

Past Experiences have had a couple of really busy weeks with all the tourists here for the world cup. I have taken some great Americans, Brits and Mexicans around! That said we still found some time to do an awesome "I Love Newtown" tour on the 16th of June (Youth Day)for locals. We followed the stunning Newtown Heritage trail and also took in Museum Africa, the Workers Museum and was loads of fun!

Museum Africa is looking the best it has looked in over a year and half- they have filled up their empty exhibition space at last and have got a great June and July program. They have guides in all the major exhibitions which really add to the experience! We were also lucky enough to watch one of their daily storytelling performances. It was great and I would recommend it to as many people as possible!

Mid-tour we did our usual coffee stop at Kaldi's on Mary Fitzgerald Square. Definitely my favourite coffee shop in Joburg . They do really great coffee and tea and have a really unique cheescake- its as if a cheescake and a milk tart had a baby- a cinnamony cheesecake!

We ended off the tour at Sci-bono which is Johannesburg's fabulous Science Museum. I cant recommend it enough. Its really fun for any age and its great for people who don't normally like museums or even science- all totally interactive and awesome! My friend Tania and myself had a great time playing on all the exhibitions. Some of our favourites were the heat sensing camera (it was like being in a spy movie), the chill zone where we could listen to soccer related stories on earphones, the tiny crane which I operated while talking on my phone...rebel! Our absolute favourite though was the fighter jet which you can sit in! We went all Maverick and Goose and sang the Top Gun Theme tune "Highway to the Dangerzone"...way to cool!

If you have any spare time over the next few weeks I totally recommend going to Newtown! It is looking fantastic and its so much fun! Why not enjoy a relaxed lunch at Sophiatown or if you are feeling flush-have dinner at Gramadoelas and catch a show at the Market Theatre. The World Cup Spirit is amazing in the area so you have to catch at least one game at the fan park on the square. Have fun!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jozi Soccer Fever!

Its finally here! After months of waiting the World Cup starts today. I'm not really a sports fan but I am a huge fan of South Africa (in general) and I am so excited! The spirit in Johannesburg is "OFF THE HOOK".

I am also really lucky because my job really lets me experience the vibe in a huge way- I have been spending loads of time in the Joburg CBD/inner city and Soweto on tours lately. I cant even put into words how awesome it is. It is also great for my clients to see...they are so impressed and shocked at how excited everyone is. When we are walking around the city we just stumble upon random Disci Dance lessons, street party's, football games through the traffic of downtown....we even saw a lone Rasta on stilts dressed in flags walking through the city!

And don't even get me started on the Vuvuzelas- they are everywhere! People have taken to just walking around town or driving in their cars blowing their vuvuzelas. I was lucky enough to be returning from Soweto on our new(ish) bus system- the Rea Vaya with a group of clients on Wednesday when everyone had to blow their vuvuzela's at 12hoo. The guy sitting behind us literally blew his Vuvuzela from Thokoza park to the city. The bus officials also now tell the bus driver that all the passengers are on board by blowing a vuvuzela! I was even woken up this morning at 6h30 with people just vuvuzelering on their way to work.

I have never seen so many flags in my life..they are everywhere. Shops, houses, cars, street lights, buildings, trees, people! Joburg is looking so fantastic and colourful! I have also never seen so many flags for sale- a guy selling flags on every street corner! My business Past Experiences has joined in with an flag on the gate. Our car has a couple of South African flags and even an Ivory Coast Flag as we are totally supporting the African continent (and going to the Brazil vs Ivory Coast match). Our offices are in Northcliff and we have spotted some awesome flag decorations around the suburb- my favourites are the giant "Go bafana" sign and the trees wrapped in the participating countries flags.

Also adding to the excitement are the huge amount foreigners who are in Joburg and of course the international press. I was doing tours at Hector Pieterson Memorial and Mandela house (with some British sports journalists) and I saw so many other journalists and cameras. I even saw a huge broadcasting van with an Argentinian number plate...they must have shipped it over!

Joburg and its people are so amazing at the moment and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now....Good luck Bafana Bafana!