I’m actually ashamed to report I’ve never been to an All Blacks’ game.
It’s not that I don’t like rugby, I just don’t love it.
But being on the other side of the world makes you strangely patriotic, so I booked an overnight bus tour with a friend of my best friend (who I instantly bonded with after she miraculously trusted me to candle wax her blocked ear on our first play date) to Cardiff.
Well, at least I thought I did.
Turns out I actually booked myself on the one-day tour with the most motley crew of Kiwis you could ever assemble and throw on a bus, including: the meat-worker from Reporoa, the fresh-faced Mormon-lookalike from Wellington and Jimmy.
Actually Jimmy’s name was John but the computer geek from the North Shore became somewhat of a celebrity on our bus, perhaps because he was wearing the only thing worse than sneans – three quarter cargo pants and sneakers to ‘show off Jimmy’s kauri tree calves’ because referring to himself in the third person – ‘Jimmy is awesome.’
Besides marvelling at Jimmy’s meteoric rise to fame, I spent a large portion of the bus trip lovingly constructing this sign.
The rest of the trip was spent bonding over a game of ‘toilet jenga’ – basically what happens when you have one toilet for a bus load of beer drinking rugby supporters and it soon filling up to the point you never quite know if you’re going to be the unlucky one covered in piss.
As for me I almost didn’t go at all, having vivid flashbacks of 4th form camp where I never lived down the fact I was the last one seen to be leaving the toilet block before the septic tank exploded.
It never ceases to amaze me how fast you make friends when toilet humour is involved and by the time we got to Cardiff I had a posse of new mates, though I lost half of them to the Welsh lasses with perfectly curled hair, mass makeup and top too tight rugby shirts at the pub, who clearly saw the onslaught of hearty young kiwi males to Cardiff as their one-way ticket out of Wales.
I then lost my sign to the miserable Cardiff weather, with it lasting all of 20 seconds before turning into soggy Weetbix.
My new Kathmandu puffer jacket on the other hand, kindly donated by the lovely folk at Kathmandu in support of this blog, easily passed its first real test and as an added bonus made it 100 per cent clear that I was a kiwi supporter, as owning a Kathmandu product is a bit like tattooing ‘I’m a kiwi’ on your forehead.
As for the rugby itself… I arrived at Millennium Stadium to discover I was sitting by myself, though in amazing seats eight rows back from the try line and in easy zoomable position for the pre-match sights.
The company wasn’t so good – with the ultimate wet blanket on my left and a full-bodied Lycra looney on my right, who spent the first half of the game trying unsuccessfully to put his fingers in the finger holes of his black onesie.
As for my verdict on my first ever AB’s game – the stadium was fantastic, Richie McCaw is a babe but the atmosphere was a bit flat – then again I was sitting next to the ultimate wet blanket.
But on arrival back to the bus I was pleased to be sitting by myself, as the others got stuck next to the token horribly angry shouty drunk girl, who then proceeded to throw verbal abuse at us for the entire journey back to London in the form of – ‘shut the f$*# up’ and ‘get your f*%^ing facts straight.’
After putting up with that for four hours she then turned round and ever so sweetly asked for my email address so we could be become ‘Facebook friends.’
I was so taken aback I couldn’t find the words to say ‘I don’t want to be your cyber friend’ so I did something awful – I purposely gave her the wrong email address.
As a end note… I’m quite aware that this blog post relates to a rugby game that happened a fortnight ago but I have recently come to the brutal realisation that I’m about to run out of money (yes I know, somewhat inevitable when you haven’t had a job for the best part of a year but a brutal realisation none the less) so did the only thing I could – I got a job, actually jobs: one as a bar wench and the other in what is shaping up to be my nightmare before Christmas – locked in a booth for 13 hours a day selling ride tokens at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.