The front page of today’s Cape Times is emblazoned with a big, bold headline reading, “It’s here.” But anyone who has been in Cape Town the past few days didn’t need a newspaper to tell them that the World Cup has finally arrived. Since Wednesday, euphoria and enthusiasm have been coursing through the city. You cannot walk 10 feet without seeing a South African flag, and you can’t go more than a minute without hearing, somewhere near in the distance, the buzzing sound of a vuvuzela (if you don’t know what this is yet, just watch a World Cup game and you soon will).
A parade through the city center last night drew more than 50,000 people—more than I have ever seen in the downtown area, especially at night time! South Africans and soccer supporters from across the world were dancing in the streets and revelling in the excitement of the 30 days to come. And this afternoon’s opening match between Mexico and South Africa’s nationally team, Bafana Bafana (translated literally, it means “the Boys”) has literally paralyzed the city. Businesses are closing early, and right now, at around 11am SAST, the streets are already filling up with fans donning green and yellow. It is going to be an awesome day and an awesome tournament. I can’t wait to be a part of it.