Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shongololo's African Adventure: Part 5 (Jozi-Home)

Emaweni webaba
Silale maweni
Webaba silale maweni x9
Homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
We are homeless, we are homeless
The moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
And we are homeless, homeless, homeless
The moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Zio yami, zio yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami amakhaza asengi bulele
Nhliziyo yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami, angibulele amakhaza
Nhliziyo yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami somandla angibulele mama
Zio yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami, nhliziyo yami
Too loo loo, too loo loo etc


I landed back in Joburg in the middle of the night, crawled to the Avis, picked up another little runabout, and headed back to Victory Park. England had managed to come second in their group courtesy of the Americans scoring a last-minute winner against Algeria and their own inability to manage more than two goals against three pretty crap teams in 270 minutes of footy.

With my plans to have an easy trip to Rustenburg for England's last-16 match and a Soccer City quarter final match involving England on my final night now in disarray, some reshuffling of the ticket pack was in order.

A call to Bisonsbrother to offload the spare tickets and get some travel companions, a favour from the talented AJ on parking in Bloem, and a classic Jewish/Israeli coincidental encounter with a friend's brother who needed to offload his Soccer City QF tickets later, and I was back on track. We set off for Bloem and made the journey in pretty good time, other than where we hit a bit of a traffic jam due to light aircraft on the road. Seriously.

Although the result was predictably crap, and was tempered by the sense of injustice over Lampard's goal-that-wasn't, and the greater sense that England had been so shite that for them to beat the Krauts would have been a fluke and unfair on a German team that had played with huge flair (and went on to thump the Argies even more convincingly), we had a great day out, culminating in one of the funniest car journeys of all time on the return leg - magma-hot mayo in the chicken pasties, trying to stop for a pee and petrol in a dodgy pitch-dark township, general ripping conversation including a session on "if I had to go gay for one player at the World Cup", and so on. Benjy, Mark and Adam - I salute you.

So, back to Joburg with nearly a week to kill before my final game and a flight home. AJ very kindly let me tag along on a few expeditions in return for me acting as his chauffeur and assistant. This included a trip to the quite incredible Saxon Hotel, where he was supposed to be meeting Bill Clinton and heading off for a shoot with Nelson Mandela. It turned out Clinton had already gone on ahead, so AJ was chauffeured off, I finished my 4 tiny goujons for £10, picked up his spare camera equipment so I looked nice and official and had a poke around.

Seeing the sign to the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite, and figuring that Billdog was probably staying there, I trotted up some back stairs, smiled nicely at the burly guys with dark glasses and obvious earpieces, waved my camera bits and trotted right on in.


After checking out the his-and-intern's bathrooms, sweet drawing-room, lounge etc, I was feeling a slight after-effect of those pesky up-market goujons. Unable to attack the Presidential Porcelain, I sat on the edge of Bill's boudoir bed and gave him a little air biscuit to enjoy later with his post-coital cigar.

Then I settled down to watch Italy vs. Slovakia, a real classic game as it turned out, until it was time to collect AJ, at which point I was driven in a limo from the porch of the hotel all of 50 yards to the garage where my little hire car was waiting. Elitism rocks.

During the week, AJ also took me along to see the media centres and empty stadia at Ellis Park (where I met and chatted to my new best friend and possibly in the top 5 coolest living Israelis, Modi Bar-On), and Soccer City:




I also fitted in a nice little day trip to Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind, where I got to go on a bizarre underground boat ride, learn about evolution, clamber through some excellent stalactite caves, and potter around some decent parks. AJ also accompanied for a visit to the superb Apartheid Museum, which was moving and informative, and served to reinforce my utter indignation at anyone who dares to call Israel an "apartheid state".

I also found a titchy little baby lizard in the house and rescued him from being eaten by the cats:


My final 24 hours in Joburg took in a cracking game at Soccer City (Uruguay vs. Ghana),  which I very nearly missed because I could not find the tickets anywhere. After systematically searching the house for 2 hours, calling FIFA to see if they would re-issue them (not interested) and my insurer to see if they would refund them (not happening), texting my hosts to see if they were lying around anywhere and had been moved, I had only one more option. Rubber gloves on, wheelie bin inverted... and there they were. Bless Violet the maid, she thought the kitchen table was too cluttered with all those pieces of paper, so there were my $400 of tickets mouldering gently under the weight of lemon peel and cat litter.

I sped out and made it to my seat literally as the game kicked off, and was glad to have got there - a blinding match complete with two great goals, a missed penalty in the last minute of injury time, a tense shoot-out, and a generally great atmosphere, with my new friend Eddie, who also accompanied the next morning for a visit to SoWeTo, which was absolutely fascinating.

Now knackered beyond belief, we headed to the airport. A quick flit between the BA 1st lounge and SAA's own offering to get the best balance of food, drink and the Argentina vs. Germany game, and I was homeward bound.

(Pic from Cape Point)

Settling into my flat-bed seat in row 1, I polished off some decent SA wines and port, watched a film, and conked out, waking 8 hours later as we dropped into Munich. I crawled to the Senator Lounge, took a long hot shower and had a spot of Krug with a light breakfast, before taking the Lufty flight back to TLV. Another film and some more grub, touchdown in the Holy Land, brief hover and wait for Debbie to come pick me up, and I was HOME.



Strong wind destroy our home
Many dead, tonight it could be you
Strong wind, strong wind
Many dead, tonight it could be you
And we are homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody sing hello, hello, hello
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody cry why, why, why?
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody sing hello, hello, hello
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody cry why, why, why?
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Yitho omanqoba (ih hih ih hih ih) yitho omanqoba
Esanqoba lonke ilizwe
(ih hih ih hih ih) Yitho omanqoba (ih hih ih hih ih)
Esanqoba phakathi e England
Yitho omanqoba
Esanqoba phakathi e London
Yitho omanqoba
Esanqoba phakathi e England
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody sing hello, hello, hello
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody cry why, why, why?
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody sing hello, hello, hello
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody cry why, why, why?
Kuluman
Kulumani, Kulumani sizwe
Singenze njani
Baya jabula abasi thanda yo
Ho

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