The Cricket Match

By my second week, I have established some semblance of a routine.  I’ve started driving myself around and I am, in some cases, able to find answers to my own questions.

The View from the Apartment

Here is one of my adventures.

On Friday I attended my first Cricket match.

Walking with the fans and the Friday evening rush hour crowds to the stadium – a 20 minute drive from our place – we were caught up in a siren wailing motorcade that was escorting SA president Jacob Zuma (he has three wives) to the same cricket match.  If he waved at me, I missed it, because between the escort’s blaring sirens, ubiquitous pot holes, uneven pavement, wild  rush hour traffic, and the enthusiastic crowds, I had to keep my eyes on the road ahead of me.

Once inside the stadium we found it packed with either India or South Africa Fans, waving flags, blowing horns and cheering.  It was interesting to see that in this rainbow nation, the crowd was almost all brown.  There were hardly any white people and very few black fans.  Here, it seems, cricket is a game for Indian and maybe Arab people.  We even saw women completely covered, wearing long colorful, gold trimmed gowns, and delicate face masks, like Scheherazade.  I am sorry we lost track of them.  I would have liked to see how they conduct themselves at a ball game.

The cricket fans acted mostly like any sports fans, waving flags and jumping up and cheering when something good happened.  When it was really, really good the stadium set off fireworks. But of course I don’t know what sort of good thing justifies fireworks because I don’t understand the game.

Raihan and Dhuval

One of Steve’s co-workers, the adorable Dhaval, is a serious cricket fan. So I could ask him questions but much of the time he was gone to buy food or drink.

In general, I am told, cricket is mostly an opportunity to drink and eat.  The “boys’” (Steve’s co workers) were drinking double rum and cokes.  They gave me something pink they called alcho-pop.

The good news is, in addition to hot dogs and a local kielbasa type sausage call Borewores, they serve samosas: mutton, chicken or, my favorite, corn and cheese. The price is 6 for R25 or 6 for $3.25.  So a cricket match is ultimately an opportunity to drink and eat samosas.

That works for me!

I can tell you the score was 230 to nothing when the India team came up for the first time.  Unfortunately India only had a chance to score 71 runs when it started raining, raining hard, with thunder and lightning for effect.  After about 45 minutes, while the crowd huddled under shelter, shouting at each other (because they’d been drinking) they called the game.

Walking Home in the Rain

We all got up and filed out of the stadium in the pouring rain.  Out on the street, it is dark now, the water is running down the road in rivers 3 or 4 inches deep.  The sidewalks are impassable because they’ve allowed cars to park on the sidewalks all up and down the road. (TIA!)

So we and the rest of the crowd are forced to either wade through the rivers in the street, along with the moving cars (TIA!) or tromping through the gardens on the safe side of the parked cars, which quickly turn to mud. In all this chaos, there is no police force in sight (TIA!).

Fortunately, I was not wearing my silk slippers and I had an umbrella so, despite the dangers, we found our car and returned safely home.


Tomorrow we venture out of SA to Zimbabwe.  I will keep you posted.

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