Last week it was soccer. This week, it’s the real deal (as far as the locals are concerned): Australian Rules Football– Aussie Rules. We decided to go for the full atmospheric experience and take the free special footy bus from Glenelg.
We were the only passengers.
Eventually, as the bus wound its circuitous way through the western beach suburbs of Adelaide, we were joined by other Port Power supporters.
“Cheer up. We haven’t lost yet,” one of them announced surveying our sombre faces. My demeanour wasn’t pre-match anxiety (I only get that before Tottenham games), but more post-last night hangover. And what he said was true. We hadn’t lost the match. At that point.
As we neared the city, two old grannies in non-footy garb got on. I’m not sure if they were heading for the Oval or for the bingo and the driver never asked to see their tickets.
Finally the bus came to rest on King William Road. It seemed half of Adelaide was here, the other absent half being Crows fans of course. We immediately espied a Vili’s Pies van and were required, by protocol, to call by. Founded by Vilimos Milisits after his family fled Hungary in the aftermath of the 1956 uprising, Vili’s is one of South Australia’s most popular brands. The Cafe de Vili’s on Manchester Street is one of the few establishments to open 24/365. Vili’s produce can also be bought at Fulham FC in London.
Pies consumed, we headed for the Oval, a vast futuristic mothership calling its children home. There were plenty of aliens too – from interstate, Sydney Swans fans, making for a carnival atmosphere, but without any of the tribal undercurrents often present in soccer. We presented our tickets to the barcode reader and were in.
To be continued.