Monday, June 7, 2010

Flying high

There's a flag flying from my balcony. It's got the colours of a nation named after the rainbow. A country that has crawled out of black and white holes and is currently jumping around in colourful jubilation, blowing vuvuzelas and doing the diski dance in recognition of a wonderful achievement. South Africa has made it onto the world stage once again. And this time it's not filling newspaper headlines with tragic tales of rape and racism. This week's cover lines shout out about celebration and achievement. The FIFA World Cup is on its way.
Everyone here (well those who actually realise that the tournament they're all interested in is taking place in the same country I come from) asks me why I'm here when all the action is happening back home. My answer is that there's just as much football madness going on here that it might just feel like I'm there next week.
When I left South Africa two months ago, there were no flags being waved yet. But upon landing in Lebanon, I was greeted by cars sporting the emblems of Brazil and Germany. Now more fans have joined in and nearly every country is being represented on the streets. For a nation that doesn't even have a team participating in the tournament, the Lebanese sure know how to play a winning game of support. Pity no one else is backing Bafana Bafana.

Flags are being sold on every street.

And there are hats, towels and other memorabilia too.

Even restaurants are getting in on the spirit.

And so are clothing-store window displays.

Nearly every building has at least one flag flying from its balconies.

And bus drivers are in on the action too!

This is the scooter of one of the pizza joints' delivery guys.

Argentina gets some support.

As does Spain.

Italians go overboard...

...and then Brazilians try to outdo them!

But I think my new purchase outshines them all! Go Bafana!!!

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