Some people (oh you know, a few hundred million) watched the Final Draw for next year's World Cup, which is being held here, in South Africa. I watched it to... sort of. I wasn't one of the lucky few international celebrities and figureheads who sat in the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) where the proper draw took place. However, I was on Long Street, which is where all the real people went for the draw.
So, I grabbed Rainer and we drove into the city center to search for parking. That was fun. We ended up landing a spot in the well-known Bo-Kaap Moslem neighborhood. Pictures the vividly painted Bo-Kaap houses are very often used in tourist paraphernalia promoting Cape Town. I was very much surprised to find the neighborhood four streets away from Long. I was under the impression is was a suburb unto itself, reasonably far out into the reaches.
I was mildly sketched out by parking there, but everyone was parking everywhere and we saw people walking down from much higher up the slope ascending to Table Mountain. This was a special night, and the police were everywhere. If you see police in Cape Town, then I would say you are in a safe place.
Once we had reached a satisfactory position, we settled to enjoy K'Naan's performance. Then the jumbotrons kicked into top gear and we were assaulted with an over dramatic montage of the cup trophy's travels through Africa to reach Cape Town. And then they did some history segments and some introductions and personal stories segments.
Finally, they cut to the CTICC where Johnny Clegg performed a slightly awkward rendition of Scatterlings of Africa. Maybe it was awkward because Mchunu (you know, the black half of Juluka) wasn't there playing alongside Johnny.
Oh well, I was confident Zuma and the FIFA President could somehow improve the show. They chose the smart move and played a recorded video from Nelson Mandela.
I have no clue as to how the rest of the continent feels about this, but South Africa very much wants to show off this world cup as being the whole of Africa's world cup. This is, after all, the first cup to be held on this continent, and in South Africa, football is much more the sport of the blacks than the whites (What is? Rugby.)
Then the message ended, and the orange Dutch upstairs went back to tooting their horns and we all went back to yelling expletives at them.
Haile Gebrselassie and David "Fauxhawk" Beckham. Finally the draw could begin.
I'm not knowledgeable enough to really gain much from the painfully drawn out process of selecting teams and then selecting slots for the aforementioned team. However, the allegiances in the audience were highly variable, and I'll admit that I care for the success of the US team. It still seemed most fitting to alternate between yelling obscenities at Beckham's ridiculously haired head and at the Dutch punks who seemed to gain no end of pleasure from being as loud as possible.
Finally the torment was ended and everyone cheered some more. Freshlyground would be playing soon, at long last. However, both Rainer and I were very hungry, and decided to seek sustenance before the music began.
Unsurprisingly, all the food places were swamped, even my favorite dingy falafel joint. We agreed that the wait was not worth our time, so we wouldn't stick around too long. Plus, more beer would assuredly ease our hunger pangs. We returned to the stage area, yet something felt amiss. No one had started playing during out brief absence, and no one was coming on stage. Freshlyground appeared to be taking their dear sweet time. In the meantime, we got down with it among the natives.
So we did. We obtained delicious food elsewhere, which was a bit of a task in of itself, but turned out alright in the end. It was quite late by the time we departed, which makes me comfortable in saying that we made the most of such a raucous free event.