With the departure of Amber and Gareth, I had hit a bit of a downer. Luckily, I had the Rugby World Cup 2015 to look forward to! It is not often that you are in the same country that the World Cup is being held and I really wanted to make the most of it. Eamon and I were a little bit late to the party, but we were lucky enough to get tickets to the first game that SA played in Brighton. Some would say we were unlucky, due to the incredible loss to Japan, but we were just so happy to be there. Win or lose, we had a really good day. We met some great people and had a laugh with the Japanese fans.
Because the game was in Brighton, we decided to enjoy the whole day from morning to evening in Brighton. We arrived at 9 am in the morning and headed straight for the beach, it was the most beautiful day. The sun was shining, it was so warm and the gulls were out in full force. The sea was such a welcome sight. Even though the beach is completely different to home, it still reminds you of Cape Town with the pier and the gulls shrieking above your head.
We found a cosy spot on the warm stones and settled in for the day. With ciders in hand, we were in absolute heaven and nothing could break our high. Not even gull poop, which happened to me by the way! We took it as a sign of good luck and moved on with our awfully good day!
When you are in a seaside town, it is mandatory that you eat fish and chips for lunch. So we went in search of the best fish and chip restaurant we could find. After much input from the locals, we found a tiny little corner shop called Buddies Fish and Chips. We got our takeaways and settled on the pebble beach again, this time, closer to the crowds and in full view of the burnt down shell of the old pier.
As much as I know I shouldn’t compare, the fish and chips would never compare to Kalkies, in Cape Town. Although it was pretty good nonetheless!
Once we had sufficiently stuffed our faces with food, we decided it was time to spring into action and make our way to the stadium for the rugby. We took a slow stroll along the beachfront, past the theme park on Brighton Pier. We continued to the buses waiting to drive the hordes of rugby fans to the game. On our way there, it was amazing to see how many South African fans there were packed into the shuttle. There were a couple of Wales supporters and Japan supporters but not enough to dim the raucous bouts of Shozaloza being sung by everyone else.
Arriving at the stadium was madness, you could feel the infectious excitement of everyone! Eamon and I found our seats, which just happened to be slap bang in the middle of a conference of Japanese people. For some of them, it was their first and only trip to another country, but they were here to support their boys as much as they could. The game came and went with much screaming, laughter, shaking hands. There was a general comradery even though we were on opposing teams to our entire surrounding area.
I was disappointed that we lost, but definitely not disappointed with our experience at all! The laughs we had along the way uplifted me. The people that we met made for a very humbling experience. The entire experience was one I am not likely to forget for a long time!