Today is the day rugby heads and non rugby heads unite. By admission, I'm not the worlds biggest rugby fan, and I'm not Aotearoa's most patriotic citizen, however, there's just a sneaky feeling of pride and anticipation knowing that this is it. Today begins the six years (I think that's what I heard on the news last night) in the making extravaganza a.k.a. The Rugby World cup.
I bought an All Blacks flag yesterday. I'm not usually one to cave to commercialism but I figured, I put up decorations for Santa and Jesus, of whom I have met neither, so why not hang a tacky banner up for the boys in black - after all, I have met John Kirwan and Bob Scott if anyone remembers who Bob Scott is - no need for embarrassment if you don't know, to be honest I just figured he was one of The Blokes Nana's wrinkly friends until someone a generation older than me pointed out that in fact a rugby legend was in our midst.
In some ways I feel a little disappointed at our towns lack of All Blackness. Sure, there is the odd car driving around with flags flapping in the wind from its roof, but apart from that and the odd loyal household with a flag, our town pretty much sux at rugby world cup fever. And we're a tourist town too and I imagine through the tournament there will be many nationalities coming and going from here.
The school and daycare aren't really even getting into it. I would have thought I'd be sick of it by now, that all the black face paint in town would have sold out and that today I would be sending the kids along to their respective classes donned in black.
So, is it all for show New Zealand? All this media attention to cities where games are being held? Look at us - we love rugby, we love our team. But here, in the back blocks, it's life as usual. If you woke up from a coma and walked down the street you wouldn't be any the wiser that the biggest sporting even New Zealand has seen in decades is about to start. It's not because we don't care, we just didn't really jump on the band wagon I guess.
Right, off to work, who knows, I may just eat my words, perhaps the whole main street has been painted black during the night...
(and the AB's)