Oh my head, oh my head, oh my head! What time is it? What day is it? What planet are we on? I look at my watch, it is Thursday! What happened to Wednesday? We have to leave for the airport in twenty minutes! A light is flashing in our room. It is one of those traffic bollards! Where did that come from? Four legs are sticking out of Goran’s bed, I hope it’s not the goat, but no, it is Goran and his new Brazilian girlfriend Marcia Larts. The last 24 hours are a bit hazy, for sure. We take the tour bus to the Stellenbosch wine growing region, but Goran disappears in the direction of the toilets in the second stop-over at a vineyard in Franschhoek, and the bus driver gets fed up waiting for us and leaves. It’s not a problem though as we meet some German football fans who are here early for the game against Argentina, and we join them on their tour instead, which is certainly more fun.
We probably leave no stone-house unturned in all the region as we go with them from wine house to wine house (why does the name Amy spring to mind?), and we learn all about the history of the area, which was settled by a race from space called the Hugonauts (wasn’t quite sure about that though – it was late on), and was called Olifants Hoek by the Africaaners before that as it was an elephants trunk road (ha ha). After that we return to the Casa Little Brazil where we settle down with a bunch of Argentinians. I remember telling them that Messi could do nothing against Spain if we meet them in the semi-finals as Puyol and Piqué know everything about him, including which side of his trousers he dresses, but after that I’m not sure.
Goran has woken up and is staring distantly at the bath water draining away. Everybody knows it drains clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere instead of anti-clockwise in the North, and we think that is maybe why so many South American teams are through to the quarter finals, although we haven’t quite figured out why yet? Anyway we pack quickly and go to pay, but we have run out of Rands and we left our travellers cheques back at the hotel in Jo-Soap-burg! Goran is happy though to stay for a bit and wash dishes (he has taken a liking to some of the finer points of the culture over here), so we agree everything with the hotel manager and I dash off to the airport.
Back at Joburg’s Tambo international airport I bump in to my old friend Manolo El Bombo! He is looking worse for wear though and is on the next flight home, as he has been struck down by a bug. We hope it is just flu and he will back later on if Spain progress, but this is Africa, and there are some funny things around. I myself picked up a Giardia Lamblia stomach bug during a visit to Africa many years ago which the doctors couldn’t get rid off. I call him Joe, and he does appear from time to time to do party tricks, a bit like those old flea circuses, which does at least bring in a bit of extra income, so it’s not all bad! Anyway back to the old hotel for an early night, and then we’ll see what to do. It’s been funny the last two days without football, but tomorrow (today when you read this report) the quarter finals start and on Saturday it’s Paraguay, so back to work! I wonder how Goran’s getting on?