Tuesday, June 23, 2009

London, Venice, and Oh yes the T20 World Cup too (Part 1)

We were planning to go on vacation somewhere this year. Ever since we went on a Gondola ride at the Venetian (casino) in Las Vegas, we wanted to go to Venice, Italy. Then I saw an article that the T20 Cricket World Cup will be held in June 2009 in London. I have not seen a live cricket match in a long time. Therefore, for nostalgic reasons we decided to go to London and see a cricket match as well as other British attractions, and then visit Venice.

We invited our grown kids to come along with us. Our daughter declined due to prior commitments but our son accepted to come with us to London. Regarding the game of Cricket - He has no knowledge of the sport. I had to explain the game to him. He still does not understand what an LBW is and how an umpire could decide whether there was an LBW or not. He does however know the names of 2 cricket players - Gary Sobers and S. Venkatragavan. Remember my previous blog about frozen memories transferred from one generation to the next!

We wanted tickets for June 12 when India was most likely going to play. However, we got tickets for the June 13 Super 8 double-header. The likely teams on that day were Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, and England. My son was disappointed because he could not take his huge Indian flag with him.

So, we landed in London on June 11. It was just our luck that the London Underground Tube employees were on strike. Therefore, we had to catch a different mode of transportation to reach our hotel. The Tube from Heathrow Airport to our hotel is about 4 pounds but our different mode of transportation ended up costing us 21 pounds each to get to the hotel.

That evening we went to Piccadilly Circus. There was a famous TV show in the USA called Cheers. In this show, the name of the bar is “Cheers” and is located in Boston. They had opened a bar and restaurant called “Cheers” in London with the same sign and similar layout. When we reached the place where “Cheers” was supposed to be, we were told that the bar/pub had shut down.

The next day (Friday June 12) we did the touristy stuff. We went to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards then we also saw Big Ben and the Parliament House.
Next to the Parliament House, we went to see Westminster Abbey, built in 960 AD. This is a Gothic monastery church that is traditional place for coronation and burial site for English monarchs. There is a Poet’s Corner where they have honored famous poets and playwrights. This is a must see for its beautiful architectural designs. Millions of people visit this place each year. This is the place Princess Diana got married and also had her funeral services.
One thing I noticed is that anywhere you go...Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Parliament House, Big Ben....half the crowd were Indians. However in Westminster Abbey, we did not see a single Indian on that day.


We went to Oval on June 13 to watch the Cricket games. It was a doubleheader - South Africa played against the West Indies and South Africa won the match. In the second game Pakistan easily won the match over New Zealand.

During the game and definitely after the game Pakistanis celebrated in excess. It was just one match at the Super 8. But they celebrated, after the game in the streets, as if they won the World Cup. (Latest Update: Pakistan won the T20 World Cup) New Zealand supporters were also equally crazy. Pakistanis kept shouting as loud as they can in unison: “Pakistan Zindabad.” “Pakistan Zindabad.”
New Zealanders then replied: “Pakistan blah blah blah.” “Pakistan blah blah blah.”
Pakistanis continued to shout: “Pakistan Zindabad.” “Pakistan Zindabad.”
New Zealanders then responded with: “Pakistan Build a Bomb.” “Pakistan Build a Bomb.”

(Still to come—Stay tuned)


  1. Hi SG,

    Hope you had fun

    Its amusing to hear Pakis celebrating their win on the roads.

  2. Thanks Insignia. I can only imagine how they would have celebrated afte winning the T20 World Cup.

  3. Funny stuff...especially the "Pakistan Build a Bomb" part.

  4. Thanks JaGo. Yep, that was real funny.