Saturday, June 12, 2010

To Market, To Market

Greetings San Diego

After a long night of setback, the day began for the delegation. It was approximately 7:20 AM when the athletic tandem of Dr. Covell and Professor Hamakawa busted in after a brisk jog. They suggested that the delegation would convene on the other side. Moans and groans were heard (Jet lag sucks), but everyone made it to the meeting.

Our agenda was set for the day and after breakfast we headed out for our first destination, FIFA international communications palace, which is by Soccer City in Johannasberg. We got into the bus and made the hour long trip and in our trip of classic misdirection we hit a snag. The FIFA people told us we needed our passport to take the tour after they had expressed previously that this would not be necessary. Half the delegation had the passports and half did not creating two classes, the haves and have nots.

Since we had driven all the way there the group split up and I was lucky enough to be one of the haves. Our tourguide, a Colin Farrell Look-alike, was very helpful. He showed us around the communications compound which houses all the satellites and communications equipment used by countries broadcasting the world cup on site. We were also granted access into the German press area where we got to see the german press pool and an actual stage they use for their international station.

We then took a tour of 3 different South African shoping centers.

The first one would remind many of you of Springfield's Eastfield mall. It was a lower class placee but it was located on the bottom of the countries tallest building. We sampled some food at "King Pie" which serves delicious hot pocket-eqse food with french fries on the cheap. We also took an elevator ride to the top of the building and looked at all the sights of Johannesberg from 50 stories up.

The next mall was similar to West Farms mall (for my people from the 860) or the Holyoke mall closer to school. It was your average middle class shoping emporium and was a very pleasant experience. Everyone got something a little different. Shaker picked up some expensive nike sweatshirt. Myself and Fitzpatrick senior picked up a cigar cutter for our cubans, some beverage glasses and ice trays, and some matches as well as checking out a local pub. Mike Jones and Fitzpatrick junior got some leather bracelets and experienced some real life bartering. And the professors aquired some much needed towels for the delegation.

After the 15 or so minutes alotted by the professors (We move quickly in South Africa), we went to Mandela square. This place was high class and I felt like I was in poverty back in the states looking at some of the expensive stores they have there. It was an outdoor/indoor mall complete with a Sony 3D soccer tent. It was pretty sweet. We also were able to meet John Oliver for the Daily Show and I got to play the role of an ignorant American Soccer fan. I got real into character and told him I've come to Africa to drink, don't know any of the players, and that I hate England more than any other team because of their failures at defeating us in battle and requiring us to bail them out in War. Thats neither here nor there, but check out the daily show the next few days they said that my farce might make it on.

We had a great dinner on ISPs dime complete with two free beverages. Some drank wine, others soda. But the most satisfying beverage in South Africa I've found so far is Carlin's Black Label Lager and was a clear choice for my meal. The Golden bear agrees.

Now it is about 10 PM our time and I have to go play some setback, but rest easy I'll be on again soon.

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