Some bad news! While we were watching the football in the bar of our luxury one-star motel, thieves have broken in to our room! The door has been forced open (not that it was difficult, I think it is made of play-wood), and our suitcases have been emptied on to the floor. Luckily we have so little with us that they didn’t take anything, and they even left us a 100 Rand bill with a nice note saying sorry they bothered us, and wishing us good luck! Even the thieves are friendly here in South Africa!
We decide to stay another night as the smoke has not fully cleared from “Traba”, the name Goran has so cleverly given to our Trabant car (English translation: “hindrance, obstacle, shackle”), and anyway I think he fancies the waitress. So while he goes off to chatter her up, I sit down with the barman “Sam” to watch today’s games. I tell him that we are here reporting on the World Cup on behalf of that world famous website www.soccer-spain.com (funnily he has never heard of it, but in Harrismith not a lot reaches down here), and he obliges with the remote control action replays every time I ask him to “play it again Sam”. I think, “maybe that would make a great line in a film”, but Sam tells me it has already been done!
So what of today’s games (yesterday as I write these pages)? Holland played alright, but they really only won it thanks to another silly mistake from a defender, in this case Denmark’s Poulsen (not sure which one as they have a lot). Japan had a surprise win over Samuel Eto’o’s Cameroon after Honda drove one in (ha, ha), and we were not sure why Samu was almost playing right back! At Barça he was just about the best centre forward in the league! And later on World Champions Italy could only draw against Paraguay, and that thanks to a late goal from De Rossi after Valladolid goalkeeper Justo Villar missed a corner. For a World Cup the goalies are not very good so far, and even Buffon had to go off with an injury. Only Nigeria’s Enyeama has shown real form, and thanks to him Messi didn’t score in their game a few days ago. Casillas for number one!
Anyway Goran has turned up with a sad look on his face. The waitress’s husband turned up to take her home, he’s called “Tiny” and is two metres tall and weighs about 120 kilos with a scar on his face (where have I seen him before?). So an early night, and tomorrow we’re off to Durban to set up base for La Roja’s first game. The World Cup hasn’t really got going yet, but maybe they are waiting for the European champions to kick start it off!