It’s Monday. It’s April Fool’s Day. I’ve got all these texts congratulating me. Makes sense, I guess.
I have reason to feel cleverish. I’ve made it through Easter without being either beaten up or arrested – or both – by the Forces of Evil and Reaction. No small feat, given my prior history of tragedy over the festival.
I’m becoming more and more afraid of the Babylon. They’ve just got away with shooting Andries Tatane dead on television. As if they’re not trigger happy enough already without getting that kind of endorsement from the courts. This is going to play itself out badly for us all.
I’ve also survived Brics. Somehow. Brics was a very unpleasant affair. An ugly, humourless beast of a gig. The ICC’s this fish tank wrapped in razor wire in the middle of the Durban CBD. There’s a programme, but nobody is following it. There’s no sense of a centre, of a machine, to work with.
There’s a separate bureaucracy from each of the five countries. They're all strutting around all suited up and arguing in whispers. My lahnee’s bigger than your lahnee. Nobody’s telling anybody else what’s going on because nobody really knows what’s going on.
It rains like a bastard from Sunday. No beach during waiting time. Which there’s plenty of. Bummer.
The CiC, Bad Vlad and company do all their business behind closed doors. Very far from we vultures. There’s five layers of bodyguards. Wall-to-wall earpieces and bad suits. We’re being told to f**k off in five different languages. Straightarmed by the Tower of Babel. Groovy.
To get from the media area to the hall you have to go out of the building and back in again to avoid walking over a 20m section of hall reserved for the big lahnees. Even when they aren’t there. Democracy in action, baybay.
After a couple of days of hanging around we’re herded into the plenary hall. There’s a cacophony as the business cats who’re doing deals on the sidelines jabber away. They’re either coked up or high on money. Or both. I get the headphones on. Son Seals. Your Love is Like a Cancer. Massive Attack. Safe From Harm. Time crawls. Seemingly hours pass.
Business goes on. Bureaucrats are hopping onto stage snapping pictures of each other at the podium. I can’t even go out for a smoke because I don’t smoke any more.
The big lahnees arrive. They get busy. This is what my life has revolved around since Sunday. It’s Wednesday. I switch headphones. The translator’s voice is lost in busts of static.
The signal’s more erratic than Arsenal’s defence. I can’t hear a thing. I’m still jiggling the receiver like a gerbil when they wind up. They could have declared war on each other for all I’ve heard.
I should have watched it on TV.