I had Thursday typed up, but I lost it, so I will give the brief recap. I went with a crew to France-Mexico in Polokwane, it was fun, Mexico won. Onto Friday.
So I woke up in Polokwane and wanted to get to Durban. I wanted to travel east to the coast then down to Durban even though I hadn’t found any trains or buses that went that way in the minimal research I had done. I didn’t want to go back through joburg cause I been there plenty already. I told the crew I was with to drop me in town and I would figure it out. This was a questionable choice, but I was determined I would find a way to do it. I walked around town and asked a number people and everyone told me they same thing I had heard already, I had to go through Joburg. So in the end I caught a bus to Joburg, the bus arrived a bit after 3, and conveniently, the US played Slovenia at 4. So I got off the bus and walked down to find a ticket to the match after quickly saying hi to Martin at the cell phone store.
I found a ticket for r350, about $50. It was a good match, I am usually critical of the US side, but I was impressed, maybe even proud to be an American. Slovenia is no joke, they beat a very strong Russian team to get here. After the US went down a goal, they started playing really well and almost equalized on a couple occasions. Then they gave up another goal on the counterattack. Many teams seem hopeful they will score when they go down. I felt like there was a difference in the posture of the US team. The became more aggressive and hungry for a goal. They put dangerous balls in and threw their bodies at goal scoring opportunities, forcing the Slovenia defenders to be strong. Landon Donovan’s goal was a fantastic finish. I think the result was simply a matter of will, the US decided they were going to comeback, and Slovenia was uncertain if they could hold their lead. The decision to reverse the last goal was strange, I’m sure the US media had opinions. But the US team kept their composure and finished the game with class. I think that will, the decision to make something happen regardless of obstacles, is an American attribute. I like it. Their match against Algeria will be tough, Algeria has looked dangerous even though they havn’t scored a goal, and they play with great focus and toughness.
After the match I walked back to park station to wait for my 10 pm bus to Durban. 3 hours of sitting at Park Station isn’t much fun. You can’t stray at all cause of the risk of being robbed. I did get to watch the first half of the England-Algeria game. I gave one man an American dollar, I had given him some bread earlier and he come back to chat some more. He was going on about how he never touched a US dollar before, I’m sure this is a scam he's used before. I fell for it. “Boss” is one of the terms that people use to speak to a stranger. I get called boss many times each day. After giving this man a dollar, I got to be “Big Boss”, maybe it was worth it.
The bus to Durban was really nice. The seats were really comfortable, Madea goes to jail was on. I sat next to Moses who fell asleep immediately. I fell asleep about midnight, the bus was sposed to arrive at 5:40, unfortunately it arrived at 4:45. I was cheated out of an hour of sleep, I had no idea where in Durban I was, or what time the sun came up. I had some bread and fruit to eat, which took up some time. I called this one girl in the US who informed me the sun rose at 6:40. I couldn’t sit for a full two hours, so I started walking. Fortunately I started walking about the same time as someone else who knew Durban, He walked with me to the beach. I walked out on a pier as the sky was just turning red. There was a younger man there from Tanzania, his name is Ibu. He is studying business here in Durban. We talked for a bit as the sun rose, he liked to have his picture taken. He asked me to watch his belongings while he jumped off the Pier. I had thought of this possibility at one point, but I felt the pier was a bit too high for me. It turned out he was really good at staying afloat, but not much of a swimmer. I had to wait a long time for the waves to push him back to shore.
I said farewell when he returned. At last the day was bright and I could search for a place to rest. I tried to find free wireless with no luck, so I eventually stopped in an internet café. I found a hostel in central Durban, Banana Backpackers. They had a bed for me. It felt good to know where I was staying that night so early in the day.