A full day of travel and my first World Cup Game

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June 14th 2010
Published: June 18th 2010
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As you know if you read my yesterday’s blog I made many changes to my room and sleeping arrangement to ensure that I wake up on time today. Surprisingly it worked pretty well and I ended up waking up at 3:30, only 2 hours after I went to sleep the previous night/this morning. After walking downstairs to check the time I realized that I had awoken too early and then proceeded to go back to bed. At exactly 5:30am I woke up again and as I headed downstairs to check the time I was definitely excited to get on my flight to Cape Town. Kabir’s maid offered to make me breakfast as I headed back upstairs to shower and get ready. At around 5:50 kabir woke up and was surprised to see me already ready. I headed downstairs with my bag, got a to-go breakfast from the maid and jumped in a taxi to the airport. On the ride there I took my last look at the city of Dubai. As we neared the airport, I checked my wallet and realized I only had 67 dirhams and was hoping that it was enough for the cab ride to the airport. Reaching the airport I looked at the meter and was shocked and quite elated to find out that the fare was simply 66 dirhams! What luck… As I entered the airport I was ready for the next leg of my 3 part vacation. (Dubai, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth). I secured a window seat on the 10hr flight to Cape Town. I ended up watching several movies and writing a few entries for my blog when I could no longer watch the tv in front of me. I even was able to doze off for a little.

The landing of our flight was a little shaky and took longer than expected. At one point the plane dropped pretty quickly giving you that stomach dropping feeling as everyone in the cabin let out loud ohhs. Remembering Ohio’s dream of my crashing on a plane wearing a stylish Tuxedo jacket with a sleek black tie, I was glad for one I was not wearing a Tuxedo outfit, but still couldn’t help thinking about his dream hoping it would not happen. As we were landing we were greeted by a rainbow over the Cape Town skyline as everyone broke into applause as we landed. As I was, a lot of passengers were here for the World Cup and a little kid began screaming and chanting Bafana Bafana!
When I reached Cape Town I was a little disappointed that it was raining. But I quickly exited the plane to get my baggage, exchange money and head to the house to make it in time for the Italy/Paraguay game. Arriving at the house I was definitely pleased to see large rooms and large living room spaces and an awesome view of the beach. Soon after I arrived we grabbed taxis and headed over to a bar closer to the stadium, where we grabbed a couple beers and started walking toward the stadium.
The walk to the stadium was exhilarating. With every closer street more people joined us on the walk and the street grew noisier and more crowded. The atmosphere was something I have never witnessed before. There were small local African bands playing African music on the sides of the roads with small choreographed dances. And as we grew even closer to the stadium small food shacks lined the streets with hungry fans flocking to certain stands for some pre-game grubbing. We stopped at a pizza/hot dog stand that sort of reminded me of Top Dog in Berkeley where I ordered 2 Burawursts, which I was told was a delicious local sausage. Definitely did the trick.

I cannot explain the elation, excitement and anticipation I felt when I entered the stadium. It was probably one of the most beautiful sights I have seen. A giant soccer stadium filled with thousands of screaming, vuvuzela blowing fans with a perfect pitch lit up from above that would soon be trodden by amazing international futbol players. I was definitely stunned by the atmosphere and the glamour of being at my first live World Cup game. The game was not as exciting as I hoped for ending in the ever so plaguing first round tie. Although I did get to see two goals, they were on the other end of the field so not as close as I had hoped. We had amazing, amazing seats!! To think they were category 3 (the lowest category ticket /cheapest that anyone not a S. Africa citizen can buy.) and we were on the bottom level about 17 rows up from the corner of the field. I had never been so close to a soccer game! The seats and atmosphere definitely left me ready for the rest of my games that would hopefully be more engaging games.

After the game we headed back home for some Party Mochem to celebrate Dave and my first night in Cape Town, not that we really needed to a reason to play. Ended the night at 5am and headed off to sleep as I bundled up ready for the cold night.

Wish i could post the panoramic pictures of the stadium here but for some reason can't, look out for them on my fb account

Additional photos below
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First World Cup Ticket!!First World Cup Ticket!!
First World Cup Ticket!!

Italy vs. Paraguay

3rd August 2010

Dubai travel
You have done a great job. Such an informative and well formed post! Thank you for sharing that, it was wonderful of you.

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