Tuesday was my last day in Durban. I slept in, walked around a bit, then it was all about football. I went to the beach to Bafana’s last game at the Fanfest. The fanfest in Durban is great, I’ve been watching the night match there. For this match there must have been a couple thousand. It was packed, I squeezed my way up towards the front, when I turned around I couldn’t see past all the people, standing and sitting anyplace that had a view of the screen. It was lots of fun. I guess 4-0 over France was too much to ask, they did have their chances though. It was fun to have hope throughout the match. It seemed people felt good enough about going out on a positive result. I got interviewed by SABC 1 after the match, the main tv station in SA. They just wanted a fan having fun to say how much they are enjoying SA. I think I did well.
Now it was time to get ready for the South-Korea Nigeria match. I made a couple quick stops, then back to my hostel, then to the match. Tickets were tough to get, I was surprised. There were lots of empty seats in the stadium, but there weren’t many tickets being sold outside. I ended buy a category 2 ticket for $60, about half price. I couldn’t find any of the cheap tickets for either game in Durban. They were actually bad seats, they were in the corner with an obstruction, but I was able to move down a few rows and it was a pretty good view. I think I would have truly enjoyed this match if I was impartial, but because of Ewere, Bukky, and my current pro-African stance, I was pulling for Nigeria wholeheartedly. I had the jersey and everything. In the end, it’s better Nigeria is out, it is too frustrating to watch them earn poor results. I think this is the closest I’ve come to understanding how my parents may have felt while I was in high school and consistently earned poor marks on my report cards. They are beautiful to watch, but played with half the work rate of South Korea. They created a few goal scoring opportunities by pressuring SK, but most of the time they jogged to pressure the ball, even in dangerous parts of the field. This would be the same rant I’ve gone on a couple times, so I’ll stop. But the contrast in work rate between the teams was amazing. Again, Nigeria shouldn’t play like South Korea or Greece, but they failed to get the result they needed against two less talented teams. Hopefully they can sort it out, we need West African football.
So now I’m on my way to Joburg for the Ghana-Germany match tonight. I folded this morning. I didn’t have a bus ticket, so I was in a rush to get to the bus station. I woke up late, packed up my stuff and hurried out of the hostel. As I was trying to check out, this guy came up to me and asked if I was going to Joburg, he said he was too, he would just grab his bag, implying we’d catch the bus together. It took me a couple minutes to check out, then I went and looked for him briefly and couldn’t find him, so I left. I shoulda given him more time, I was crunched for time, but this is one of the things I need to relearn. I’ve slipped into being so focused on the things I need to do, that I don’t leave space for people and other opportunities. I could have been sitting next to a new friend on the bus right now. I could have supported him in some way that he needed, he may have supported me in a way that I needed. I missed that opportunity in my haste. After I bought my ticket I realized what I had done, I looked for him hoping he was a couple minutes behind me, no such luck. Sorry friend.