The bump of the landing gear being lowered roused me from my fitful doze. Jo’burg was down below. I still had sand in my shoes after dancing through the desert and my mouth felt like another handful or two had slipped under my tongue and half way down my throat. Next to me Shazza had snored all through the flight wearing a Fez and a pair of red and white striped England sunglasses.
“A girl needs her beauty sleep, Pet, but I’ll grant yers, I don’t need as much as some.” Despite all she still looked as fresh as a daisy. Shaz doesn’t do the English rose look.
We landed, collected our bags, passed through customs and into the main airport concourse. What colour, what noise, what confusion. Football fans from all around the globe happily jostling their way to the exits. It was time for me and Shaz to go our own ways and airports are never the easiest of places to say ‘goodbye’ but somehow in the middle of it all we managed a temporary ‘totsiens’. A full lips on Shazza smacker that sucked any remaining sand from my throat followed by a smack on the bum and a “Yous behave yersen and don’t do anything I would nt do, Pet.” And with that she was gone, swallowed up by the dancing masses in a cacophony of vuvuzelas.
It took me by surprise, but that’s Shazza for you. Last thing I glimpsed was her bag being taken by a chauffeur in a peaked hat and her stepping into a limousine. Now I come to think of it she had mentioned something about getting a ticket for the opening game S Africa v Mexico. But if you see a tall striking figure of a woman at the opening ceremony sat next to Nelson and blowing a kiss, don’t be too surprised! Just give her a wave.
As for me, I am meeting a couple of friends and heading for Rustenburg for Saturday’s game, England v USA. My ‘on the road trip’ is over. I am here, here in South Africa to enjoy the football. Somehow though I don’t think it will too long before I hear a voice louder than any vuvu shouting “Howay, Pet, are yers gannin’ for a beer after the match, it’ your round?”