Shark Frenzies and Havana Nights

It’s no secret that sharks are of a special interest to South Africa.  Tourists and locals alike can participate in shark cage diving excursions, while the Natal Sharks Board has been known for its controversial use of shark nets to protect swimmers from danger.  With all of the attention surrounding sharks in the KZN, it seems fitting that the official Durban rugby team would be named the Sharks!

Tonight I went to my first rugby match, during which the Sharks played against Barney’s Army, a conglomerate team of South African players led by famed rugby champion John Smit.  The event was less of a competitive affair than it was a charity game to honor Smit’s farewell to rugby and celebrate the launch of the John Smit Foundation.  Check out this article for more information on the event.

Sharks vs. Barney’s Army

After watching a couple of hours of rugby and listening to detailed play-by-play explanations of the gameplay techniques from the locals, I must say that I understand why Americans have yet to get into the spirit of this complex sport!  After all, can you imagine moving downfield while passing the ball backward?  Nonetheless, the locals admitted that they never understood the overwhelming sentiment for American football.  To each his own, but it was a phenomenal experience to see all the action and the Sharks win during this historic event!

Following the game, we dined at the ever-popular Cubana.  With its casual Latino cuisine and blasting Latin music, it appeared to be a restaurant, lounge, and performance hall all in one!  Although I have yet to meet anyone here from a Spanish-speaking country, it was exciting to see a touch of Latino culture hidden among the Durban dining and nightlife scene!  I know that we will have to return sometime to see the famous flair-tenders!

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