Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cape Town, Day 2

Tuesday, 6 July, 2010
Cape Town

I had heard tell of the Fearsome South African winter, but rather than my usual habit of chewing the facts to gluey pulp and spitting it up for your easy digestion, I present to you photographic data with which you can make your own decision:

Today was the day I had tried to avoid far back into my trip-planning: the World Cup semi-finals game in Cape Town. There was nothing for it however, and so I would have to face to vuvuzelas.

In the morning, after some writing and various business backflips, I walked into town (no longer backflipping, but occasionally backflapping) and, after some awkward soccer banter with the bag-check fellow (despite my lack knowledge, I faired fairly fair, all told), I plopped myself down at the National Library.

Over the next several hours I poured through everything that the various librarians and I had picked out: various books on oral literature, some meek and mild non-indigenous nursery rhyme collections from the early twentieth century, folktales, and several books by Niki Daly and Gus Ferguson—but more on them later (the next day I was to meet Niki and Philip de Vos—stay tuned!)

I managed to crawl out from beneath the pile of books as the library was shutting down and walked back to the center of town, where I met the orange and blue mobs. For those un-hip enough not to know, it was Holland (orange) vs. Uruguay (blue), but the fullest flocks were by far the orange. Marching down the main streets, orange wigs, face paint, bright orange safety overalls, and of course, vuvuzelas blaring, the glowing mob moved like an engorged channel of nuclear waste. For a little while I followed along the flatulent parade, but when the crowd bottlenecked at one of the bridges, I took a northerly turn, back to the Waterfront and my hotel. Just before the game, I took a walk one more time with the crowds down to the stadium (which is not even a mile away), thought for a moment about buying scalped tickets, and then went back to the hotel bar to watch the game. In honor of some very fine VanBronkhorsts I know, I routed for Holland…

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