Grey Area

What began as an adventure to discover the African, and specifically Zulu culture, and of course watch soccer, has transformed into a multi-cultural immersion. I have been staying with an Afrikaans family for the last 5 days or so and have had my eyes opened to a culture all it’s own. On the exterior, they seem to be a result of blending Dutch and Australian races together and pouring the result out upon the wild African continent. Some further investigation shows them as simply, Afrikaans, a race and culture independent of comparisons. Their language, as well as their accented English, is beautifully rugged. The women speak with a feminine power while their men speak with… well, quite simply, power. This power befits their inheirent obsession with rugby. I appreciate their efforts to show excitement about the World Cup of soccer, but their hearts have already met their life loves, and rugby isn’t going to budge.

While I maybe biased by the fact that my hosts are absolutely lovely people who rewrite my concept of hospitality with each day, I can see they are a very welcoming culture. I suppose they have to be for a such a time as this…

While I count down the days until Portugal’s first match in Port Elizabeth, I cannot help but share some of the rush of South African rugby. Despite rugby’s history here of being a “white” sport, I found myself seeing it in a new, universal light. I have never watchedthe game with such passionate fans, who will even cheer the opposing team’s scoring if it was done in an impressing and right fashion. They truly love this game. Later, upon witnessing my host Riaan fetch his Springbok (South Africa’s ruby team) jacket, I began to recalculate my spending money in a most covetous fashion.

My journey to Kruger National Park was squashed by my soccer itinerary and general lack of funds so my focus shifts onto Port Elizabeth. Next week Portugal will debut against a tough Ivory Coast soccer team, who will no doubt be milking the benefits of a home continent crowd. I can safely anticipate the latter portion of my trip will be the most rugged even despite my frugile budgeting.

My netbook has proved useless, aside from producing personal material. Wireless internet has proved to be an incredibly sought after commodity and for now, retyping my blog posts at an internet cafe seems to be my greatest outlet. This loss of comfort, as well as several breathtaking African sunsets, and counting, reminds me I am in a far away land and that makes me smile. Sleep tight my friends, or as the Afrikaans would say it, Lakarslop!

Published in: on 09/06/2010 at 3:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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