Tuesday, June 15, 2010

talking to mom, laughing and bleeding, and vuvuzelas

I hate living so far away from my parents. They are currently living in South Africa and the only contact we have is through email and phone. With the time difference I can call them, but only in the mornings - which doesn't work on days when I am working - or after 11 pm at night. I am usually awake at this time but I talk loudly and often wake my sons. ( I have tried to be quiet... I just can't!)

I am thrilled to be off from work for a few days because it means I can talk to my mom lots. With World Cup games being played in South Africa we are both watching them live and so it makes for sun and interesting phone conversations.

I initially called her tonight to tell her a funny story about me cutting myself. The cutting was not so funny. I do not deal well with my own blood being spilled. I was trying to open some scissors and I cut my thumb. I rushed to the sink and held my thumb over the sink and my spouse was taking care of me. She knows my weakness! As I was standing there my son came in and wanted to know what was happening. His comment to everything these days is "Why?" , so my souse was explaining to him what was happening and that I was in pain. He asked her why I was in pain and her response to him was " When people get boobies it hurts Maxie." Oh, I laughed. We just stood there, my thumb bleeding into the sink, laughing till our sides hurt. "She meant BOO-BOO's, Maxie" I told him. He was unimpressed with us and left us to our laughter.

Of course I had to call my mom and tell her. Our conversation went from boobies to soccer and from soccer to the vuvuzelas.Vuvuzela's you say?

Columnist Jon Qwelane described the instrument as "an instrument from hell".

Initially, vuvuzela's were banned from the World Cup, but the ban was lifted in July 2008, and the plastic instrument with the huge buzz will be a main feature at the games. In recognition of this truly South African instrument, the South African Post Office issued a set of stamps, a commemorative cover and a miniature sheet in June 2009.

The origin of the vuvuzela is unclear. According to Wikipedia, they are a derivative of the kudu horn, blown to summon African villagers to gatherings. First versions were made of tin, but by the late 1990s they had become so popular at soccer matches that a local company formed to mass-produce them in plastic. They cost a few cents to manufacture and are selling at the world cup for at least 7 rand - and some cost a lot more.

The origin of the word “vuvuzela” is also unclear. Some claim it is a Zulu word meaning “sprinkling around”, while others say it originates form township slang related to “shower” or “sprinkle” as it showers people with sound. A fanciful saying from Africa folklore is that “A baboon is killed by a lot of noise.” During the last quarter of a match, supporters blow vuvuzelas frantically, trying to “kill off” their opponents.

These things are insanely loud, they are said to be louder than a chainsaw. One of the very first things I noticed about vuvuzela's when I watched the first world cup match was the sound of buzzing over the television. At first it was very annoying, but I have become used to it already - though admittedly I have only heard them over the tv and not in real life! Apparently this sound has been so annoying to some viewers that networks have been adjusting the sound of the broadcasts. Other networks have been posting information for people on how to change their television settings to reduce the noise. All in all, there has been a lot of "buzz" about them.

For the game my parents are attending, they plan on taking earplugs - the sound of 60 thousand of the things can be quite damaging. Mom and I had to laugh though because friends of hers have been sending her emails and complaining about them as though she is personally responsible for their use and as if there is something she can do about it!

I am loving conversations with my mom and missing her dreadfully.

1 comment:

The Bumbles said...

Wellllll - she's not completely wrong. When you get boobies you get hurt a lot - the teen years are the worst for heartache! haha

But nothing hurts as much as those damn horns. They sound like a drone of bees and I despise them. Songs and chants are much more entertaining than the same sound non-stop for hours on end. Don't those fans ever need to breathe?

Enjoy the rest of the World Cup.