So Spain will face Netherlands for the final. Which was a surprise to me initially, though I think both teams have played extraordinary soccer throughout the World Cup. Germany had looked so good from game one, and it's so easy to be seduced by the big names--Brazil, Argentina, etc--and by patriotism (not that I really thought USA or Bafana had much of a chance). But now, there will be a new champion to add to the list of seven teams that have won since the tournament started in 1930. That's kind of cool.
We're all wondering what will happen in South Africa once the Cup is over--none of the really bad things we'd all worried about (secretly or out loud) have come to pass. I'd love to see Cape Town continue to be the safe, walking-friendly city it's been for the past few weeks. South Africa has been calm and incredibly welcoming, apart from mostly minor incidents (including a cleaning crew stealing the English team's underwear, which is understandable if inappropriate). I think all Capetonians have appreciated the police presence and the security--so perhaps there will be lasting benefits from all of this hoopla. Better buses and better cops. Freedom from Big Brother FIFA. More sleep. A greater sense of unity.