Everyone is still talking about the FIFA World Cup. I heard a delightful conversation last Wednesday afternoon—a most important public holiday in South Africa. It was also the day that our beloved Bafana Bafana lost to Uruguay (but no one is talking about that).
I was at a coffee shop in the afternoon, enjoying a chance to do some writing (OK, and drink some coffee) while Jen was working. An elderly couple came in and sat down. They must both have been at least 85.
One of the great things about older folk (older than me that is…..) is that they tend to talk rather loudly. The TV was on, showing the Chile/Honduras game. The wife (speaking very slowly as if trying to understand something) said, “Are there lots of different teams?”
The husband, very gently, replied, “Every country in the world has sent their best teams here to play in the World Cup.”
“Yes,” she said. “But our team; do we have more than one team?”
I didn’t hear his reply.
“So, if it’s the same team,” she was still struggling, “they have to travel all the way to Port Elizabeth!” She pondered this for a bit and then added, “They must be exhausted!”
Later, in the parking lot, I came across a group of guys getting into their car carrying beer and bread rolls and snacks.
“Enjoy the soccer,” I called out.
They beamed and one of them said, “It’s going to be great. Three-nil,” he said.
Little did either of us know how tragically right he would be.