Monday, May 31
We meet the UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Africa in Pretoria. Mister Kimbimbi is very surprised and disappointed to hear that the Dutch national team do not want to support 'the shirt 2010'. They have given us the standard 'nice project but we get zillions of similar requests all the time...so sorry but we cannot help'.
Yeah, I bet they get dozens of people contacting them every day who have cycled from Norway to South Africa for 11 months...
First the Dutch stole Bjorn's bicycle in Amsterdam and now their national team don't want to help the project! Come on you crazy Dutch!
Reminds me of how former England football manager Graham Taylor felt when the Dutch eliminated England from the World Cup in 1993, under very dubious circumstances:
"Do I not like Orange," he famously complained
Sunday, May 23
Just when I thought sunday was turning into a football-free day Bjorn suddenly asks, "Did I tell you we are going to the PSL Football Awards tonight?"
"After 30 minutes"
It is back on with the suit and the UNHCR driver's shoes and off in the car to Pretoria.
What we didn't expect after a mad dash down the motorway was to park up, turn the corner towards the national theatre in Pretoria and then find ourselves walking down the red carpet to the entrance of the event.
It is probably the single most absurd moment of the project so far, particularly when one of the many South African football fans crammed behind the security perimeter shouts, "Hey! I don't know you. Who do you play for?!"
Inside, the presentation goes out live to 10 million South Africans. It is the standard 'goal of the season', 'player of the season' stuff, with slick visuals, half-clad dancing girls and pop star artist appearances.
Again, I find my head is spinning as I sit watching the various players walk up on to the stage to receive their awards. This is a million light years away from the dirty little shack we parked our cycles outside on the Tanzanian border a few weeks ago, not able to eat or drink because of a Cholera outbreak.