"No way to avoid being one with India"
This was on a billboard today that we drove past in a rickshaw in Secunderabad, and it could not have come at a better time. India played England today in cricket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Uppal, and I had secured tickets for myself and ten friends. The tickets had been purchased online for 15oo Rs. and the printout said “tickets to be picked up at venue ticket counter.” Any normal person would assume that means the ticket counter is actually at the venue. False. In India, the venue ticket counter can be as many as 20 km away from the actual venue. We discovered this when our attempts to enter the stadium were thwarted by angry policemen, despite the valiant efforts of a new friend and his wife to get us into the stadium. We then bought NEW 500 Rs. tickets because we assumed the old ones had simply been resold (this IS India, after all), but a mob sort of formed at our gate for those seats around the time that Miriam got a call saying the tickets were at the counter in Secunderabad, and would we come pick them up?
So after an hour long taxi ride to get to the stadium, Dane, Miriam, and I took another 30 minute rickshaw ride to get the tickets. We returned to the stadium, tickets in hand, slightly concerned about being a little over an hour late. We needn’t have worried. There were like a bajillion overs, and the India team was batting on the field from 2:30pm until nearly 7pm. Dhoni himself took up quite a substantial portion of that time. He is #7, and the one kneeling in the picture below.
Cameras were prohibited in the stadium, but phones are not. So everyone who had phones that were made post 1999 (aka not us) was just using those. I managed to successfully sneak it in by hiding the battery on a different part of my body, and then claiming I didn’t have it. This was actually a huge accomplishment – we went through probably 4 security checks including pat-downs to get into the stadium, and they confiscated my water and my Lay’s potato chips, but let me keep my orange. So all the pictures I took are slightly covert (hence the sort of poor shots). In any case, here are some pictures of the game:
These guys were HILARIOUS – they danced every time something happened, and often with the moves from the new movie Bodyguard. They are quite a bit smaller than Salman Khan, though
The game was incredible, though. We had so much fun, and I am so supremely happy that I got to see a cricket match while I was here, and especially an international one! Thanks friends from home for making me watch the World Cup last year – I sort of knew what was going on, and I was familiar with some of the players’ names, which was cool The game, once we got there, was great. And I am glad it went so long I feel like I got the full experience that way – cricket isn’t cricket unless you’re there for 6 hours. Also, they played “Lollipop” at one point. I love India. And we won
ALSO parents arrive in an hour and a half!!!!! I am so excited! Little do they know, I am going to the airport to surprise them, so hopefully they’re happy to see me! SO HAPPY!!!!!