My goodness me. I’m done. You cannot go anywhere in South Africa (ok, to be fair, I’ve only tried the bit in the bottom left corner) without hearing something about the rugby. The semi-final against England is tonight at 9pm local time, and though I have headed to the most remote place I could, it’s still all rugby, rugby, rugby.
Despite being English and having lived in South Africa for a couple of decades, I’m really not very bothered about the game, mainly due to it being played under the code of “rugby”, which is a silly sport [citation required]. But while I appreciate the level of excitement surrounding the game, it’s everywhere.
It’s ubiquitous and insidious.
And rather monotonous and laborious.
For me, maybe more even than the actual final 4 years ago.
It seems difficult for others here to understand my ambivalence, but look: different nations like different things, and rugby is not top of the list for the UK.
Sure, there are people who are very into it, of course. But that is a minority. Not like here.
Rugby here. Lots of it.
If England win: great – revenge for the final in 2019. (And maybe a little bit funny, given the arrogance of many of the SA supporters this week.)
If SA win: great – as I pointed out somewhere [it was here – Ed.] I completely understand the tremendous unifying effect that Springbok success has on this country. Take the cartoon in this morning’s Die Burger which my half Namibian, half French, half South African (he’s a big guy) neighbour showed me this morning:
Look at that. People of both white and dark persuasions uniting against a common foe, and being implored to “remember Majuba” and “remember Isandlwana” where the English were defeated in battle in 1881 by the Afrikaners and the Zulus in 1879, respectively.
OK, mate. Placate your breasts. Over 6,000 men from all sides were killed in those two encounters.
This is just a game of egg-chasing.
I won’t be watching this evening. United are playing at the same time, and I probably won’t be watching that either, but if I am able watch anything tonight, it will be the footy.
That said: good luck to both teams and may the better one win. What ho!