What were the TB Guides up to during the Soccer World Cup?
ogling at the impressive beauty of Cape Town’s soccer stadium. This den of controversy during its construc- tion had now become a mighty spec- tacular venue to welcome the world, and not only I was not expecting it to be nished, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be so stunning. Every match I attended and there were three of them, I took a visual tour of its magnicence and what a symbol of South Africa’s“can – do“spirit it had become. The matches themselves were fantastic no matter who played, the Mexican waves, the chanting and the far more intricate games played by the Vuvus at the stadium are all memories that will linger in us for many years to come. Unfortunately, we could not attend all matches, but as the tournament went on, Spain excelled, and the FIESTA gatherings at home became more and more inevitably popular. It was fun, crazy and inexplicable how we survived a month with so little sleep. It was simply impossible to keep the beer fridge suciently stocked for the occasion and our small wine rack emptied faster than the wine club was able to ll it. Not
only did we watch the best teams in the world play soccer, we sampled in some of the best wine in the Cape, mind you…in such excess I cannot even recall what any of them were called. A peculiar phenomenon took place; more and more women got into soccer and attended the gatherings. WHY? How could the very ladies that in normal life would get a bad mouth rash if they mentioned Rugby or even Cricket…now be interested in soccer, and not just mildly ocking!! But even dressing for the occasion. The answer EYE CANDY, the weaker sex had spun this one, most noble of all sports, into yet another meat parade for the “gaals”. Nauseating but true…and I did notice that the main “drooling” bouts coincided with the exchanging of shirts at the end of a match espe- cially when players such as David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Forlan, Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Canna- varo appeared, a spineless reduction of the essence of the moment. And talking about spineless creatures, there was one that really took the limelight and the world by surprise, Pulpo Paul. Make no mistake
never has a sea-creature garnered more attention (sorry Shamu!!, Flipper and Moby Dick) but when this German octopus started predicting scores in Nostradamus fashion, including that of his own team, the money spinners were drawn in, and suddenly we all had an ear and special place for octopuses in our heart. So much so that in the Germany-Spain game, although it was Puyol that scored the goal, it looked like Paul was the most- discussed topic the next day. Was it the similarity between the former's locks and the latter's tentacles that caused the confusion? As a Spaniard winning the World Cup was the cherry on top, but the after- math jokes that ensued some of the more crucial moments of the tourna- ment were priceless, but perhaps the one that still makes me giggle is : What do you call an English man in the knock-out stages of the FIFA World Cup ….referee!!. Another great chirp came from a friend who remarked that the Germans had managed to turn history on its head, to the point that no longer would we hear – Do not mention the War! But instead do not mention zee FOUR!! In essence, very little birding was done for a month on this camp but all for the right reasons as indeed this was an experience of a lifetime, and one we shall never forget.