Benji Lanyado trawls the blogosphere for local tips to guide you through your World Cup South Africa trip – from the best food to the latest dance moves.
In three days’ time, I will be in a state of embarrassingly manic excitement. And I’m not even going to South Africa. If I was, it’s extremely unlikely that I’d be able to hold a sensible conversation, let alone prep myself for what promises to be one of the most eye-opening sporting tournaments in recent history. But for those who are going, you lucky bar stewards, I’ve delved into the blogosphere on your behalf. If you feel like giving me a plane ticket and a couple of match tickets in return, that’s absolutely fine.
Within a few matches of the tournament, the World Cup’s unofficial anthem will be known throughout the world. And it sounds roughly like this: Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer. The Vuvuzela is the ubiquitous instrument of African football, loved and loathed in equal measure. Some party poopers have even tried to ban it from the tournament, but, thankfully, they failed. Goal.com managed to track down some Vuvuzela aficionados for a quick tutorial:
For more info on what to take into the stadium with you, also see Goal.com’s guide to essential fan gear, including hand-painted Makarapa hats and the Vuvuzela’s sophisticated cousin, the Kuduzela. If you want a more chin-stroking take on the history and travails of South African football, do have a rummage through the excellent pitchinvasion.com, particularly this post on the story of football on Robben Island.
Dance the diski, or don’t
I’m not a huge fan of official fan campaigns. But when the official fan campaign involves a dance merging Township-inspired air football and rudimentary body-popping, I’m in. The Diski has been specially choreographed for the tournament, with fans across the world encouraged to learn it before they arrive in the country. This conjures the wonderful mental image of a horde of large German football fans dancing in unison to jerky African beats. Which is a wonderful thing. And lo and behold, the internet’s favourite bad dancer (see his previous work here) has been reeled in to showcase the dance. Matt… take it away:
If the Diski sounds a little too much, but you are still determined to dance, do pop along to the June edition of the hugely popular Balkanology party in Johannesburg on 12 June. The organisers are promising “vodka irrigation systems, fanfares played by choirs of gypsy kids juggling squealing piglets, fortune tellers, cussing grandmothers and the good old blindfold marriage game!”
As we all know, football fans are famous for their love of fine wines. Luckily, the country is overflowing with them. To verse yourself in the nuances of a good South African drop, head over to imod.co.za’s wine reviews page for a decent rundown of what to quaff. My highly sophisticated nose led me to the three cheapest bottles on his list: the Welmoed Sauvignon Blanc is a “waterfall of poached cape gooseberries and spicy lemons” for just under 30 rand (£2.70), the Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2009 offers “sliced pears and honeysuckle” at 32 rand (£2.90), and the beautifully named Cape Point Vineyards Splattered Toad is “as green as it gets” for 38 rand (£3.40). For more info on wine trails, vineyards, hotels and tours, see the impressive community site SpitOrSwallow.com, where the Muratie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch is currently the top-ranked farm.
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