Sunday, May 03, 2009

A big weekend...

Well, went to the cricket on Friday and saw Australia win the series against Pakistan with a game in hand.

It was a great day and I watched the game from one of the boxes for 1000Dhs (or "Dizzers" as I have since heard other Aussie expats describe them in traditional Aussie slang).  I got the ticket after an Aussie here in the office sent an email calling for interest because his mate had outlayed 22,000 Dhs for the box and was not looking for a further 21 bodies to fill it.

The promise was alcohol would be available and a meal between innings.

All very weird though when I volunteered, as I didn't know the guy and I wouldn't know anyone else, but I guess thats what meeting people is all about.  It was good though because the 22 people who gathered at the Shangri-La bar before hand didn't know each other and it was basically a few mates of mates who knew someone 2nd hand and found themselves with a ticket.  Amongst the group were 2 Aussie guys from Brisbane who had their dad in town visiting and they brought a mate of theirs as well; an English couple who seemed to know one other guy who were keen on a "good days cricket" and few aussie golfing buddies who had also answered the email from a mate and then there was a South African who was there who brought his Aussie girlfriend.

So, we made our way to the ground, found the nirvana of a muslim country with beer on tap and samosas and sandwiches in the box.  Needless to say we went hard early and after about 30 overs of play, when we asked for more beer it turned out that it was all gone!  With most of the boxes occupied by Aussies, it was easy to see why and the Champagne then spirits came out.

The funny thing though was that we werent allowed to drink on the balcony of the box and it was decided to circumvent this by drinking our illicit beverages using tea cups!  There were many calls for "More Twinings anyone?" and lots of pinkies out...

The meal was a typical Middle Eastern buffet with lots of salad and hommous, meats of all types (except pork of course!) and cooked in a variety of Arabic and Indian styles.  There was a dessert bar as well, but I never made it to that!

The evening innings seemed to go very quick and the chanting was going on back and forth between us in the boxes, the Aussies below us in the concourse and the neighbouring Pakistan fans got really good with even the Pakis giving an "Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi" chant.  We sang the National Anthem, Waltzing Matilda and other Aussie songs.

By the end of it, I found myself with 2 guys I had met that day, at midnight in neighbouring Khalifa City ordering a dodgy Spicy Chicken Burger and chips, an Aussie flag around my neck regaling the Indian workers there about how we smashed the Pakis and that India was going down next time we played them...

A good day!!

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