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Wool's World Cup - Days 1 and 2

Day 1 and 2 (June 8-9)

Well here we are, the World Cup, and the first of hopefully several updates, albeit slightly delayed.

It certainly feels good to be here, just as it was a relief to finally board my Thai Airways flight from Melbourne to Bangkok.

The preceding three days at home had been ‘challenging’ at best, with my seemingly never-ending assignments and a hectic week of work experience combining to ensure I was extremely disorganised.

Those at uni who know me won’t find the fact I was doing my assignments at the last minute at all surprising, however this time I took ‘disorganised’ to new heights.

On the morning of my flight, which was at four in the afternoon, I was still finishing work and running round the city tying up loose ends.

But onto the interesting stuff and the trip!

I was lucky enough to get a whole row to myself at the back of the plane, and quickly settled in for what would be a nine hour flight to the Thai capital.

For the record I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol on the flight, and ate the beef - marveling at the fact you couldn’t be given a metal knife because of security, but you could use a metal fork.

I would have thought out of a butter-knife and a fork, the fork would be far more menacing - but then again I haven’t heard of too many ‘forkings’.

I did enjoy a few small ‘kips’, however was trying to keep my sleep for later on, with Russell Crowe and Gladiator, helping me stay awake to Bangkok.

We did endure some a few nervy moments in the middle of a thunderstorm, with some pretty intense turbulence while flying over Malaysia.

This, for me, would always conjure up images of that Tom Hanks movie, where he’s one out on a deserted island and his only friend is a netball called ‘Wilson’.

I did make it to Bangkok though and, after a brief stop, was on my way to South Africa.

This time I’d let my sleeping tablets go to work and I managed to snooze for about eight hours without waking, which certainly made the trip a lot shorter.

Sitting next to me this time was a short Malaysian man who had won tickets to the opening match of the World Cup.

He was certainly very excited, and wanted to communicate far more than I had the inclination to do. Eventually I feigned more sleep to get him off my back.

I arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa at around 7am local time and was immediately bombarded with everything World Cup.

At the entrance to the airport, thousands were gathered, singing, dancing and playing those dreaded vuvuzelas - a loud horn that every South African seems to have.

I then continued on my way to Durban by boarding in another flight, bringing my total travel time to over 30 hours, completely disorienting my sense of time in the process.

My lift, Clive, was thankfully waiting for me at the airport, and one of his son’s drove me out to their home about half-an-hour from the centre of Durban in a suburb called Kloof.

I was then given the tour around Kloof, including Kloof Gorge - which roughly translates to ‘Gorge Gorge’ - and various other local landmarks.

I was also amazed that where Clive and his family lived had a waterfall literally in their backyard, with amazing wildlife rooming the surrounding forest.

Dinner was brilliant and then the boys, Craig and Greg, took me down to the local for a few drinks. Despite being a Wednesday night, and in the suburbs there was quite a few people out and about.

Basically everyone out was local, so I tried to play the Aussie accent card, but as the boys had work the next day we had to leave before I could have any sort of an impact!

I also began to realise just how strong our dollar was against the South African Rand - a rum and coke cost about $2.50 when converted.

I’m sure this will prove to be most important over the coming weeks!

I will try and make this fairly regular over the coming weeks, not sure how the pictures will come out, this blog could change venue depending on how i go!
Sat 12/06/2010 Ayrton Woolley 482 views

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