PRETORIA, South Africa — My host in Pretoria gave me this can of pepper spray to fend off bandits. I didn't have it when the bad men struck.
PRETORIA, South Africa — People here keep telling me I look South African. What they mean is that I look Afrikaner. (Yes, I'm white, and I dress poorly.) Looking Afrikaner sucks because inevitably you get approached by scary people who think they've found a fellow traveler.
Luke: well, i just got robbed
Luke: they took my tickets man
they pickpocketed me
me: who did?
Luke: i don't know!
PRETORIA, South Africa — A few hours before the gut-roiling USA victory here, I witnessed a tense moment of another sort when two well-lubricated American yahoos tore into Sunil Gulati, the head of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Here's how it unfolded ...
JOHANNESBURG — Getting around this city during the World Cup has been an unholy mess. Traffic can be obscene. Cabbies have turned into pirates. So it's nice to have access to media shuttles. Too bad almost nobody uses them.
JOHANNESBURG — Slovenia-USA had it all. There was the immediate and customary American breakdown. The stirring comeback. A bastard shit evil ref, more evil than that bastard shit Larrionda in 2006. And then there were the Miss World contestants.
NEAR RUSTENBURG / DURBAN, South Africa — Our friends at ESPN treat the World Cup like a luxury safari. A few days ago, I got to see how their leaders rough it. The occasion was a braai, a South African barbecue. But not your typical braai. Think wine and white tablecloth.
JOHANNESBURG — See this button? It's called a panic button. It was given to me by my hosts at a guesthouse in Johannesburg. If I press it, I was told, men with automatic weapons will appear and possibly spray the street with bullets in order to quell the panic.