A lot of things happened since my last english article.
Some of my dear friends can't read my italian blog, so I decided to keep you at par here!
From a world cup to a lost final
Yes, I know. Some of you (the few that once a month check my website), asked me what happened. Why I don't write anymore on the english section of the site? Well, there is not entirely true. I constantly update the sport events that I took part in (and there are plenty) , and within those little articles you can find plenty of pictures. Just check here: http://www.o2ip.com/home/sport.asp.Also I don't post anymore picture directly on the website. Now I mostly use facebook (which is a great tool to stay in touch, believe me, abusing it makes the experience awful, but if you and your friends keep the noise - installed apps - to a minimum, it's the best site for these kind of things) for pictures and my flick account.
If you check on the homepage, you will see that the fourth column ("galleries) loads my last 6 pictures from the flickr account I own (www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/
), and you click you will see, at this address (http://www.o2ip.com/galleries/index.asp
) even more pictures.
The truth is that I'd rather spend more time writing smaller articles about my life in South Africa in Italian, since facebook and flickr take mostly care of the rest. I recently even added a twitter account (http://twitter.com/#!/africanolaf
) so there is really no reason to spend too much time on this side.
Having said that, I noticed that the last article was written in June 2010, that's more than a year ago!
So, this is a digest of what happened since then:
- Italy at the football world cup: this is the main reason why I stopped writing. The disappointment and the sour taste left on my mouth after watching my beloved Italy getting routinely humiliated by the mighty Slovakia, Paraguay and New Zealand was too much to handle. So instead of writing regular updated, I decided to wait until I would get a better (and positive) outlook regarding the experience. It took me a year and I'm still upset. My good friend Ian came here all the way from New York to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience and we both felt like we got raped by a crappy italian team without even the decency of using a soapbar. It was that bad.
- The rest of the world cup: yes, the vuvuzelas soon lost their appeal, especially when they killed the atmoshopere at the stadiums. But the enthusiasm of the people was fantastic. I had tickets booked until the final, and after Italy got eliminated, I got good money selling the tickets for the first elimination round, quarter finals and semifinals to my friend. I decided to took Lindsey to watch the final, and we both enjoyed being part of a truly historic moment (the concert before the final, Mandela, Spain winning against a rough dutch team in a beautiful stadium all supporting Holland, Lindsey and I included).
- The pictures of my world cup experience are available on flickr: Italy - Paraguay in Cape Town with Curtis, Italy - New Zealand in Nelspruit with Ian and Curtis, Italy - Slovakia in Johannesburg with Lindsey, Jill, Ian, Curtis and David and Spain - Holland at the FNB Stadium with Lindsey
- The second part of my football season with Panorama wasn't as great as the first. With a weakened squad, we barely managed to qualify for the quarter finals of the champions league format that the league created to give the teams something to do after the world cup, and we lost in the quarter final, ending our strange season.
- In September I traveled all the way to Monaco, in France, to my good friend Anna's wedding to Peter. Anna and I knew each other since 1991, and we even managed to spend some time in London leaving under the same roof, when she replaced Rob, gone back to Ireland. The experience was really great, a wedding in such a upclass location with a reception on a yacht is something that I will always remember. You can see the unbelievable pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/sets/72157624893676647/
- In October 2010 Kirsten and Andy decided to leave Cape Town, and so, without a place to stay and a job, Lindsey and I decided to give them temporary accomodation. It's 2011 now and they have been living with us for almost a year, but it has been a great ride. Sure, having so many dogs in the garden was tough (collecting a enormous amount of dog shits every 2-3 days is tiring!), but we accomodated each other quite easily. They can cook, then can clean (well, now they both got a job though), and they are great company. They will probably leave us in 2012, but, unlike what other people are thinking, I had a blast having them around.
- Talking about dogs, in January 2011 we added a third one to our family (and a fifth in total, considering Andy and Kirsten's two dogs): Benji. It was a scruffy dog that was crossing a very busy intersection looking for I don't know what. Jill, David and I were returning from a 10km race. I opened the door and he jumped in the car and he decided to stay with me since then. After a messy first period Cucciola and Bruce found a balance with him and now they are all happy.
- The watched the U2 performing live at the FNB stadium, the same stadium where we watched the final. It was great, even if Bono liked to discuss how to save the world every 3-4 songs... pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/sets/72157625928783259/
- When I had the occasion, I took Lindsey on weekend away from Johannesburg. For her birthday in 2010 we went to the terms in Bela Bela (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/sets/72157624663982561/), while last June I took her to the beatiful Drakensberg Mountains (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/sets/72157626944978830/) and for ther birthday few months ago, in 2011, we went to Thabazimbi where we had the most fantastic encounters with wild animals (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/sets/72157627518859752/). South Africa is a beautiful place to visit, and the surprises in those areas not yet discovered by international tourism are plenty
- The 2011 football season was strange. Our winning football team from 2010 was totally dismantled (a lot of players, having achieved success, decided to move on and join other teams), and only Stoy and I remained from the original team. It took 3 months to find a balance in the starting 11, and we finished the season in the mid table. I also joined, since I'm old enough (!) the veterans league and we played in a very tough group against teams full of former bafana-bafana and european pro players. It was difficult. Incredibly, we reached the league cup final, but we lost in October to Monder 1-4 (pictures of the season are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/olafmeister/sets/72157626495434594/)
- With my fourth medal in four year (1 league, 1 runner up, 1 winning final, 1 lost final) I won for the third year a personal award for the players' player of the year, topping the season with 12 goals (7 with my senior team, 5 with the vets) in a season when, as a captain, I had to really kill myself in every match to inspire the youngsters around me! It was tough, but these are the kind of challenges that I like.
- I kept cycling and running, completing more than 20 races, a marathon in November 2010 (the Soweto Marathon, a terrible experience!) and my first ultra-marathon (50km!) from Pretoria to Johannesburg in September. With only 1 or 2 annoying injuried during the season, I managed to keep fit for most of the year and believe me, at 34 is not an easy thing!
So this is pretty much what happened in the past 16 months. Lindsey and I are now preparing to leave South Africa for a cold winter Christmas in Italy. We are leaving the 13 of December, spend 10 days in London, and then travel to Italy to spend the festivities with my family from the 23rd to the 5th of January 2012.
I'm not too sure when I will update this section of the site again. Probably when I will have time to write a digest. But you can always keep an eye on me using one of the many channels: facebook, twitter, flicks and this site. I'm still alive. I promise!