Monday, June 28, 2010
Not only did the Dutch colonize the Cape back in the day; they also totally took over the city on 24 June 2010 when Holland took on Cameroon in the FIFA World Cup™ group match at the Cape Town stadium.
A sea of orange gathered at the FIFA Fan Fest™ on the Grand Parade during the day – all dressed in orange, from cheese and pumpkin costumes to clown hair and orange glitter false eyelashes.
Why orange? Well, the Dutch Royal family has the surname Van Oranje and thus wearing orange in support of Holland just developed spontaneously. The Dutch dress up in orange for all national occasions and Cape Town’s local Dutch residents host their fair share of orange parties on Dutch national days, many of them at Rafikis bar.
Yet Cape Town has not yet seen the amount of orange that marched from the FIFA Fan Fest™ all along the Fan Walk™ to the stadium on 24 June 2010. A Kaapse Klopse band (the Cape’s authentic ghoema jazz sound) joined the parade of over 70 000 people. People were watching them pass by from balconies, walls and hotel windows.
Once inside the stadium, the spirit of orange continued with enthusiastic vuvuzela blowing and Mexican waves. A 2-1 win for Holland against Cameroon made sure that the Dutch took the day, even though the team qualified for the round-of-16 ahead of the game.
Since then Jeeps kitted out in orange flags are blaring Dutch music throughout Cape Town. Orange, orange everywhere. Just like that, the Cape is Dutch again.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
So I decide to come home after travelling the four corners of the earth. I’ve hardly managed to plant my feet firmly on Cape Town soil and the whole world follows me here. Ok, so I’m not really that popular; rather, it’s the FIFA World Cup and people from all over the world are in Cape Town to watch the soccer.
I am delighted to see Cape Town decorated with flags and to hear all kinds of foreign accents as soon as I step on to the streets. Travel is in my blood and it makes me happy so mingle with travelers on random nights out and being a bit of a tour guide in my own beautiful city. I’ve also discovered that I love the beautiful game, which is a bonus.
Cape Town is more fun than ever before – and it’s always been fun! There are football fan parks all over the city, big tents serving beer and boerewors rolls to sports fans dressed up in costumes that represent their country. Bars, nightclubs and restaurants are all offering Specials and Capetonians are entertaining friends from faraway places.
“I still think California is the greatest city in the world – it’s my home,” says Matthew, dressed from top to toe in US football gear, “but Cape Town is second best.”
My favourite part, I must confess, is that there are finally more straight men in Cape Town than women. That means I am turning heads, being asked for my phone number and told I am the most tres beau, benito, bella woman in the world on a daily basis. I know it means nothing, in a few weeks the soccer fans will all be gone and Cape Town will sink back into its lovely laid-back rhythm.
Yet – for a single travel obsessed girl grounded in a beautiful gay capital this is just the kind of travel and confidence boost I need to keep going strong.