How to survive soccer season

2010-06-25 09:26
A bunch of foreigners whose names ends with “ich” and “stein” run around your country kicking balls and the world goes wild. You can’t drive down the road without being harassed by “supporter gear” touts who know you want just one more flag and another set of mirror gloves (probably the ones that were stolen off your car earlier in the day) or tourists who are lost and “in very much big need please” of your help.

All radio stations (including those that claim to play more of your favourites more of the time) do nothing but talk soccer. The TV stations show only balls being shoved around fields by grownups who should have real careers by now. Vuvuzelas have claimed your hearing and ruptured a hole in your throat and it’s not even half way through the tournament yet.

Fear not! All is not lost! You can survive the next few weeks, even if you are tired of feeling it because it is here.

The first survival technique is ear plugs. Lots of them. Earplugs are more or less (brand dependant) the right size to clog the mouth piece of the vuvuzela and make them more bystander friendly because, let’s face it, vuvuzelas are super stylish and everyone wants to sport the latest designs/ shapes/ colours (and they double as a weapon in case you get attacked), but the sound, when not played in union with 90 000 others at the stadiums, is anything but music to your ears (even more so in the case of the nunuzela).  A drop or two of super glue (which is what the traffic light guys used to sell) seals the deal.

Tourists are people too. You may be confused at first when they run around with lederhosen full of sauerkraut, or when they flood towards you in Mexican waves, but don’t feel intimidated and don’t point and laugh (they do have feelings). Invite them over for some mampoer and wors and show them some true South African hospitality (which, contrary to popular belief, does not mean mug them) - they may do the same for you one day and they may even help you in your quest to quieten the vuvuzela. Besides, they were expecting to ride on elephants and run from lions, you have to give them some sort of real African experience to remember.

Battling the excessive traffic can also be fun!  Well, it would be more fun if we could wrap all the cars in bubble wrap and play giant bumper cars, but in the real world, you can use the extra driving time as an opportunity to expand your social life – make friends with people you’d never meet otherwise! You never know who you may meet in the traffic, celebrities and stalkers- it’s luck of the (traffic) jam!

Invest some added interest in the soccer. Pick a team and then pretend to be a fanatic! If nothing else you will get a new outfit of your team colours (so pick your country wisely). If this isn’t enough, raise the stakes a little, call a friend and enter a small wager on a match: loser has to be the victim for one of those lion attacks the tourists flew all this way to see... something along those lions (I mean lines).

Personally, I’ve decided to move to whichever country wins the World Cup, it’s got me watching almost every match and cheering hard (Australia’s out – WHEW! Now it’s just North Korea left to worry about – not that there is anything wrong with either of those countries, it’s a personal preference kind of thing).

Try out the fan parks, maybe even the pubs. There’s something amazing about watching the games with others - even if you watch the other’s beer-spilling, vuvuzela-shaking shenanigans more than the games themselves. If the soccer has done nothing else right, at least it has united us as a country more than anything else ever before!

So the next time the traffic light peddlers try and sell you unnecessaries, buy their entire supply of earplugs (and some glue). Befriend the person stuck next to you while confused tourists wander back and forth across the road and, instead of driving over them in rage, give them a ride, give them a meal. Get your new team supporting wardrobe and wander down to the pub

If all this doesn’t work, sound proof your house, lock your doors and ban all media. Make sure you’ve got supplies though - July 11 is still a trillion vuvuzela blows away!

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