Archive for the ‘World Cup 2010’ Category

“Were you there for the World Cup?”

August 27, 2010

“Oh wow… that must have been like amazing.”

I’ve been getting this a lot the last couple of days, because I’ve been meeting a lot of people at College-organised mixers for graduate film students, and my accent always attracts attention. I was wearing a BAFANA T-Shirt today. And it was amazing. Remember how amazing it was? As I always say when I’m asked, I was so lucky to have been able to say a (temporary) farewell to my country at a time when it was in such a damn good mood.

world cup mural on bronx wall

A mural of a soccer star painted on the wall of Bronx, Cape Town's most famous gay club, taken during a Soccer World Cup 2010 street party for Germany vs Argentina. Germany won.

A walking tour of N Tustin Street, California

August 17, 2010

Tourists flock… no they don’t. I flocked. Alone. At noon. To walk up and down Tustin Street, looking for a bicycle, which took me about four hours and three miles, and resulted in the purchase of a kids bike at a random sports store, mostly in desperation, partly in ignorance.

But on the way I did see the following…

There was one of these - at least - on each lamp post. People just leave the stuff on the lawn unguarded, and if you want it, you knock on their door. Imagine that in South Africa - or most parts of the world, really? If I had transport, I would have gone to look for a bike at them, but the thing about transport is that it's like money: you need it to get it.

ICHI SUSHI - sounds like Itchy Sushi. Sounds like somewhere I - lady of the bed bugs - should be eating, right? Did you know that it turned out my rental car had fleas. So I had fleas AND bed bugs? Crazy, ne.

sign in book store christian sale

I found a book store. There are a lot of Christians around here. The Christian Fiction (tautology alert?) section was large... I wonder if the Catholic sub-section has a 3 for 1 special or not....

I keep seeing signs like this and thinking "Kid-free restaurant? Cool!" But actually, this means the kids get to eat for free. Horrible for me. Good for parents.


This woman came past me in her wheelchair, wearing a cowboy hat, greeted me, and drove on. Then as if tired, she paused, had a drag of her cigarette, and continued. This was almost as weird as watching an old lady in a wheelchair sharing an ice cream with her dog at Atlanta airport.

The world cup feels sooo far away from me. Strange to come across this on Tustin street.

sign waver

This has to be one of the worst jobs in the world - and very tiring. Shops hire people to stand and wave these signs all day. Each Sign Waver lasts about an hour or two. Then they presumably collapse from heat exhaustion. Give me cleaning toilets, any day.

A weird barbershop sign. What's this haircut anyhow? And if it is such a good haircut, why is he wearing that hat to hide it?

There’s nothing special about N Tustin Street, but it’s my main drag now, so I thought I’d, you know, show you around.

Blast from the past: RIP, old South Africa

August 7, 2010

“You live een South Africa? Because I don’t mean to comment but… your skeen ees very light?” said a Mexican-American cab driver to me yesterday. It was weird – I keep wanting to pinch myself when people talk… the squeeky co-ed valleygirl behind the Starbucks counter, the super-helpful geeky white-guy at Bestbuy, the truculent chinese hotel owner with the “from Bejing” name tag, who looked at me like it was MY fault the bed bugs bit me… Anyhow, I explained to the Snr Driver that I was third generation – fourth if you counted my Afrikaans great gran from Zim. It was cool to be able to talk about South Africa, say that things have changed a lot in the last 20 years, and be proud that I have only one passport (although of course, I wish my passport did the PASSING part a bit more effectively, and South Africa’s rainbow is a little muckier than I tend to tell foreigners).

sea point beach

It was pure fluke that on the day I went to photograph this natural gravestone, someone in blue shorts, and an orange T-Shirt was tossing kelp for a white dog...

So some genius saw this stone that looked exactly like a gravestone, and painted the old SA flag on it. I loved walking past it on Sea Point promenade. Sadly the council decided just before the FIFA 2010 World Cup that it was potentially controversial, and painted over it in black.

Of course, this is wishful thinking. The past will never rest in peace, although sometimes time can wash the pain of it away and leave the good memories we tend to cling to.

I wonder if anyone has blogged yet about the weird South African chick, who’s covered in bed bug bites and talks all funny.

Are our airlines a joke?

July 19, 2010

@amandasevasti I will NEVER fly Kulula again. Our cat is so traumatised, I’m lodging a complaint with the SPCA against @kulula

Why? Well, she and her husband had were migrating from Cape Town to Joburg, which is fairly stressful in the FIRST place for people used to breathing fresh air on a regular basis. They checked their cat in at Cape Town international’s swanky new airport, and their flight was delayed for three hours… Not sure what happens to cats in those situations. I presume they behave like stupid fucking cats – fail to read the safety instructions in their seat pocket, panic and scream so much you wish they’d just die. My attempts at google failed to yield answers. But do I know from bitter experience with numerous airlines, exactly what happens to humans. Although we’re only caged up with overpriced food and exclusive books at departures, we go kinda crazy, and crazier, the longer it goes on. We buy ugly sunglasses and send boring smses to our loved ones.

I love South Africa’s sense of humour – and delays at airports are normal, internationally. Then again, it’s how delays are managed that matters.

Pets astound me, as a concept – but cruelty to animals’ owners is just stupid business, cause they don’t hate pets. To them “if you were smaller, I’d eat you” is a cute look. They fucking love the meat-devouring, pillowpissing things. Old ladies in Sea Point wake up and squeeze their daschhunds’ poo out at 4am. I know, because I walk up Beach Road and stand in the calcifying, sun-blackened remains a few hours later.

On the SAA plane returning from Swaziland via Joburg recently, two Polish men in the seats next to me laughed their asses off at the safety video (you know the one, featuring Martinus Schalkwyk from the NNP (RIP, more like)? They asked me “Are all your planes like this?”

I laughed and shook my head, while failing to think of a plane that wasn’t, and feeling so proud, because I’m so damn proud of our way of handling things with humour. Because it’s like the vuvuzela – ours – even if I wish we’d chosen a more musical weapon of mass distraction.

As we walked out, we (the Polish guys and me) stopped and laughed at this plane that sat loading up passengers on the runway.

kulula humorous advert

Yeah... but read the fine print.

I, for one, appreciate their candor. Then again, the last flight is like the last blowjob – it always depends how your pussy felt when you arrived.

This time last week…

June 29, 2010

A week ago, Bafana hadn’t played their final game of the World Cup, and I don’t think we were expecting the fantastic game we got. My life is about to change completely – so completely that i still don’t know exactly what bed I’ll be sleeping in in a month. Even from week to week, my plans change. Last week doesn’t seem like a 7 days ago; it feels like years ago.

She's called Lili Radloff, not Lili Kakloff, cause she's RAD. Snapped at the final Bafana game at Buena Vista Social Cafe.

Still I’m not whining. I’m just panicking. And to have spent my last few weeks in SA enjoying this amazing world cup is such a gift. It’s like Grahamstown Festival, but with happier people and better weather. The streets smell of caramelising Boerewors and woodsmoke, every second person is drunk, hung over or sick from drinking other people’s saliva out of Vuvuzelas, and although the soccer teams keep losing their clothes (they claim robbery, but really, guys…) I think it’s been a safe and exciting world cup.

welcome World Cup

Why I love the Vuvuzela

June 23, 2010

I remember saying – a few weeks back – that I wished we’d chosen a more musical cultural weapon than the Vuvuzela. But now I really don’t think football could ever be the same without it. When the games begin and the vuvus break out, it’s magic. And then there’s the other thing: FIFA branded everything, made their buck out of everything. But they missed the vuvuzela. How did they miss it? They’re like all the record companies that only started trying to sign Die Antwoord after they’d already been offered a three album deal with a top US label.

A friend said he bets they’re busy redrafting their agreements to state that the a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all musical instruments that enter the stadium must go to them. But until they get it signed and sealed… BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP!

I love being part of the loudest sporting nation on the planet.

And this LOLcat made me laugh. I think it might be French. Beating them yesterday was awesome, even if they were broken already. Apparently they’ve been sent home on a plane in disgrace – economy class.


jean barker

I was crazy happy when this photo was taken. Can you tell? At the Italy Vs Paraguay game in Cape Town on June 14.

Nandos offers free coke to Uruguay – if they lose

June 15, 2010

A brilliant campaign. Pity the chicken is factory farmed…

nandos free coke

No, not that kind of coke - we're a family restaurant. We will, however, give every Uruguayan players and their fans a free coca-cola with any Nando's meal purchased, if they lose to Bafana Bafana. It's the least we can do to keep our visitors in high spirits.

Eish! And more mzansi World Cup gems

June 14, 2010

FYI for foreigners: "Eish" is South African for "shit", "blind" or "$%*@&%"... but it really means something different to all of them. I guess it's funny. When you say "Eish", you smile. You say it when you drop something, or something is a shared problem. As in "eish... that boy" about a guy who's always screwing up. Or "eish..." when you realise you left your ticket at home.

After the match, I walked a mile with the happiest people on the planet. Seriously, if you’re not here, you don’t know what you’re missing. The stalls that line the Cape Town fan mile are painted in bright colours like beach huts, and african-themed, selling local foods to soak up the beer and fuel the fever.It was amazing.

jean barker

Ok, not my best look. But it's hard to take photos of yourself in the dark while moving at the speed of a an amped-up crowd.

At some point I got tired, and jumped in a taxi. A comedian, I think Loyiso Gola, says “When it’s full of black people, it’s called a taxi. When it’s full of white people, it’s called a shuttle.” Which is hilarious and so true. I once paid a fee for a “shuttle” in Mozambique. It was full of white people, and cost R250. The local taxis went just as fast, were just as dangerous, and cost R50 for the same journey.

interior of a taxi at world cup South Africa

Decorated with love... this guy went crazy with little plastic jewels glued to the roof, miniature flag broaches... interior decorating for people on the move.

Turns out when some white people ride them, they’re still taxis. And this ride from the stadium home was one of the best of my life.

Hey you doubters! We rocked that game.

June 11, 2010

We didn't lose! At this stage, we still hadn't scored a goal.

I’m living proof that you don’t have to know what’s going on, to know when you’re winning. Amazing vibe here in South Africa. A celebration of African pride and heritage and hope.

Football fever – we’re all down with it, with no sign of recovery

June 11, 2010

Brazilian doggies photographed on the Sea Point Promenade, Cape Town, South Africa.

It’s ceraaaaaazy. In our office, a bunch of chicks just ambushed some dedicated workers with their Vuvus. Everyone’s wearing yellow – even the white people who look universally crap in yellow. And I can’t help it. As my friend Selwyn said, shortly after buying a stolen car flag from a bergie woman, “It’s like the day before Christmas.” Selwyn LOVES Christmas even more than I do. I think being Jewish he gets all the fun, and none of the slight religious guilt. Anyhow, I gave him shit about buying stolen property, but when some people on a roof of the flats opposite the wine bar we were in started blowing their Vuvus at us, I waved the flag in response. It was already stolen, anyway, right?

Well, not EVERYbody.

Tweeted by @comicaltshepo and not because he agrees with it I don’t think – thanks for the photo.

Yep, there are always the people who don’t want to enjoy it, for fear that having a bit of fun will instantly transform them into Nazis when they feel that swell of patriotism, that opiate of the people. But I’m not going to let Hitler’s fuckups or whining South African afropessimists ruin my World Cup. If drugs were as harmless as this, I’d do them. Another friend (and colleague ) Anton Marshall agrees. As does Dorothy Black.

I hope we win. But even if we don’t, as Selwyn said, we do.