The Pink Polo at Val de Vie. This was what last weekend consisted of. Fancy dresses and beautiful shoes, sassy hats and designer sunglasses. I am going to The Pink Polo at Val de Vie. How? I won tickets.
How I won the tickets is not the centre of the story, but what my experience was with the tickets I won. I never win in competitions. Ever. I was lucky once in Grade 6 for a colouring competition-other than that-my luck sucks.
The competition I entered was easy and when I won I should have known this was a fluke.
I had so many mixed feelings. I have never been to a grand event like this. This is totally out of my comfort zone, but all the people I could meet and the new experience. Let’s do this.
Saturday we got ready. My husband bought me a beautiful new dress and I had shoes that I have not worn in years. I even did my make-up, styled my hair and put on lipstick. I kid you not. Those who know me knows I do not wear lipstick. There is fish scales in it-yuck!
Off we go. First stop Stellenbosch. We had to pick up the tickets I won. I even got 2 extra tickets well actually all the tickets that was left. I guess some people knew something I did not.
On our way I decided to check what type of tickets we won. Now you are probably thinking “Why on this green earth are you only checking that on the day?”. Well, the competition did not specify what tickets you are winning, it only said Pink Polo tickets. So we did not know and could not check it before hand. The cheap seats was R130 (US$9), this already made me cringe a bit, then R680 (US$46) and then R1900 (US$128). We were a bit surprised by the jumps in prices. Also, when we started digging we read things like “bring your umbrella”, “make sure you got chairs and or a blanket”, “come and enjoy (something) on the grass lawns”. Oh the horror. Keep in mind, I am dressed for success.
We were way to early at the Val de Vie, but we drove in and I felt like a complete outsider. Money does not talk or speak here, it yells! Loud and unstoppable.
As we are driving we keep on seeing cute signs like “Pink Food Truck-this way”, “Pink Food Truck-almost there”, “Pink Food Truck-keep going” and then what we found, oh boy. I should have taken a picture.
It is this wide open area of nothing with building rubble on the one side and this one lonesome bus waiting to take the cheap seaters to the area they need to be. It is dust everywhere. We made a u-turn and went and park at the second to best parking area. VIP of course is the best.
I found it strange that no-one checked our tickets before we got into the van because this would have saved a lot of the events happening after we got onto the bus.
We arrive at the Polo House (?) entrance. What a beauty. It is pink balloon arches everywhere and ladies dressed in fancy attire and lovely smiles greeting you. This really cool Polo Player statue and it is all just so grand. And overwhelming. I am so out of place here. Hubby quickly checks where we should go. “No sir, you need to enter at the back of the field-not through here”. Well, you can not enter through here.
My heart breaks into a gazillion little pieces.
So, how do we get on the other side? We asked the first van and asked if the driver is going back to the parking lot, assuming he is dropping off the guest from the fancy parking lot. The ladies thought we are checking them or scouting them or whatever it is they thought we were doing. The van driver is as confused as cat puke in a tumble dryer (this sounds better in Afrikaans). We get to the point where we realise, no he is not a driver in the estate. He just came to drop of the group of girlfriends hanging out with the grand people today.
All right. Plan B.
We ask one of the event marshals where we need to be. She very helpful explains that we need to walk around the field, past the horse stable and enter right at the back underneath the bell. I am annoyed and dissapointed.
Good bye fancy entrance. Off we go.
Half way through my feet have blisters on them. These shoes were not made for walking. I feel like an idiot, my dress is sticking to me like a second skin showing every dent of my body and I am eating hair. The horses were nice to look at. Well looked after and so shiny.
We made it to the back entrance. I can not say gate, because there is no gate. It is a hole in a grass wall. Two lovely ladies greet us at the entrance. I tell them that we were not prepared for this side of the field and we have nothing with us. Where are we going to sit? Hubby is fine, he is wearing pants-me not so much. Shame, they tried their best to convince us that “this side is also fun”. I think the disappointment was too big to see the fun on this side.
So, what did we find at the The Pink Food Truck area?
A frozen yoghurt truck, a junk food truck, Heineken Bar Tent, A Gin Tent (I can not even remember the Gin’s name), a coffee station from Fleet Coffee Company and Bril’s little tuk-tuk.
We got a seat and my mood just melted further into my nice shoes. Hubby got us each a gin and sugar free cooldrink. This put us back R160 (US$11). It was just a single gin each with some fruits and a cooldrink. I almost spit it back out again, but I was just too thirsty. Luckily my mom made us some omelette before we left so we did not have to eat anything…yet. I mean at R45(US$3) for 1 scoop of frozen yoghurt I am sure I could wait till I got home.
So, we had some entertainment at the tent where we were seated. A random guy no one knows doing some covers of other artists. Up until the event’s opening. We could not see anything on the other side of the field. There was no big screen and the stage was put up with the back to our side. I could not even see with my glasses. I heard Nico Pannagio speak and Ryk Neethling, I know Minki and Katryn and Simone was there. I also knew that they are so far out of reach it was not even funny.
We saw Rolene Strauss arrive with a helicopter. She did a gender reveal of her baby, it is a boy by the way, we saw her back and that was it. She lives in Val de Vie, just FYI. Do not see the need for a helicopter.
We were seated where the horses sh*t. Literally. That piece of lawn is at the far end and we were not part of anything happening on the other side of the field. When the rest of the cheap seaters started to arrive some of them were dressed, to my horror, in comfortable denim and some guys in short slacks with “plakkies”. I was screaming on the inside.
We left after about an hour. Half way on our way to the car, we saw that we could actually have walked to where we needed to be-no need to drive. It is just across the little bridge. I stripped down to my undies when I got to the car, free naked show everyone, and put on my jeans and a t-shirt and my Birkenstocks and I was back in my own comfortable self.
Disappointed is a under statement. No word in the English Dictionary could explain how deflated I felt after that.
I was looking forward to hanging with the fancy and famous. Chatting away, sharing stories and having a taste of the real Polo event.
We left and went to Fairview and then The Spice Route where we had a great time. We stuffed our faces with burgers and watched the lazy afternoon sun.
I can share some tips though if you are planning on going to next year’s Pink Polo.
- When you enter a competition for tickets-make sure you know what type of tickets you are winning.
- Do research. Find out what your ticket allows you. Will you be able to see the fashion show, the band playing, the pony parade (up front and personal) etc.
- Find out what is on offer with regard to food and drink. It is very expensive and work this into your budget. There are card facilities, but always have some cash with you as well.
- Make sure you understand the game Polo. It is useless watching jockeys race up and down along a field whacking a ball in all directions and you have no idea who is winning or what the point of the game is.
Free tip – If you are prepared for what you are receiving I am 100% sure you will have a great time, if not you will be as deflated as I was. The “fun side” will be great if you are a bunch of friends together although I still feel you can do this anywhere else. I just feel a Polo event is in the same league as the Durban July.
Yes, I probably sound like a little brat, but I really wanted to meet some of the people that I look up to and would love to have a chat with and in my mind I was going to the grand side.
Have you ever been to a Polo Event or game? How did you experience it?
Till next time!