Thursday, July 1, 2010
Catch-up Part 2: Today is Sunday so this must be Gold Reef City...?
Some plans work well and some fall apart, (I should know...!), and in the scheme of things, this plan was one of the better ones that turned out to have some excellent additional benefits... Upon arriving in the vicinity of the Apartheid Museum we noticed that there was some of the World Cup 2010 ‘Park & Ride’ signage for ‘Gold Reef’, a parking facility we had not come across before. So we followed the signs and found out that for 100 Rand we could not only park there for the ‘Park & Ride’ to the stadium, but that it was right next to the Apartheid Museum where we were going anyway, and a Theme Park and Casino, plus we also got into the museum for free... Bonus...
The Gold Reef Casino only added to the adage that Casino’s all over the world are now designed to the same homogenous design, with the predictable labyrinthine layout, a blur of fluorescing lights and the whirring sounds of slot machines slowly stealing the money from undeserving punters. The saving grace of this place of excess was that it had a full size theatre showing the England Game on a huge screen for a reasonable sum. Had we had an inkling as to how the game was going to play we would have stayed in the Apartheid Museum, where it is debatable that there was less horror on show than in England’s back four. For 20 minutes we held our collective breath but it was only a matter of time before Germany sliced England open through the middle and proceeded to stab in a goal. A second dissection and scalpel like finish just after the half hour point put England down-and-out, and even the beer in my glass was beginning to taste of defeat.
When Upson climbed highest to head one goal back, and Lampard’s phantom goal was seen by everyone except the 4 officials at the game, we started to imagine we could see the thinnest shred of desperate hope dangling in front of us... Could we..? Could we possibly..? Was there a chance of a come back...? No sooner than the 2nd half had started was the question answered as any dreams of a famous turn-around were mercilessly dispatched with clinical precision by the German attack, who removed any remaining vital organs from our hapless defence, and castrated all possibility of mounting any comeback. Bugger... Double-blind, dead-dog, Bugger....!! The less said about England and their expectations the better, and roll-on 2014.
Just over an hour after the game we were in a bar ordering pizza’s and beer and gearing up for the Spain vs Portugal game on the TV. Fiona had kindly agreed to drive home so I was making the most of not having to drive and enjoying bottle after bottle of the recommended Hansa Marzan Gold. Finally, a game that lived up to our expectation of a crucial World Cup Game, with Spain taking the fight to Portugal from the first minute, in what was cagy & tight affair that was never dull and full of shots and action. Eventually, Spain got the break they deserved with the sublime David Villa shooting initially with his right foot, blocked by the keeper, and then netting the rebound with a deft left foot chip, showing his supreme balance and creativity. By this time we had developed a casual friendship with a table of locals next to us who were supporting Portugal, or to be more precise, Christiano Ronaldo, and we swapped witty banter about the quality of their team & players until full-time. Great game....
Today and tomorrow are rest days for us, (and the football teams as well, coincidentally), and catching up on this blog is the only thing I have planned for today, except for enjoying another meal at the lodge tonight, and maybe another few glasses of port....?