A nerve wracking day. First it was- yeah we will be fine, no problems. Then it was yes we are doing good and then England start batting. It was still good and then the wickets start falling. The nerves kick in. We couldn’t watch the England vs New Zealand final world cup match live, but kept checking up on the scores. The day started off with a walk around the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. Tomorrow we will be doing it properly but today is Sunday and we are taking it easy. We are still finding out what we should be doing in the city this week and booking our tours.
We stop at a tapas bar for lunch. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. After the excesses of the night before we know what we can handle and so order just enough. The food is delicious, the venue rustic and dreamy and the drinks go down like a dream. After which we join the hoards of tourists as they walk along one of the popular most streets in Barcelona in the direction of the seafront. A pedestrianised boulevard filled with restaurants, souvenir shops and artists vying for our trade or to sketch our portraits. We reach the end of the street marked by a statue of Christopher Columbus on a column.
On the other side of the column and street, street vendors are selling their fake designer ware for a hundredth of the original price you would pay for the real deal. A close inspection reveal the inadequacies and I wonder whether it is worth it. Rain drops start falling. I don’t remember seeing any forecasts for rain this week. Within a few seconds the drops turn into a downfall. There is nowhere to run into and we have no umbrellas. We seek shelter under pine trees like most of the others caught up in the downpour.
I can hear thunder and wonder if this is a safe place to be sheltering. The street vendors have gathered up their goods and are trying to keep them dry. A guy comes around selling umbrellas and rain coats. He obviously had a one to one with the gods today and had a one up on the ice cream sellers. The rain will stop soon we hope and wait and wait. The water is now seeping between the branches and threatening to slowly soak us. We take refuge under the thickest branch of the tree. The crowd get fed up and disperse. We finally decide to leave our safe haven and venture into the rain as it shows no sign of abating. Within a few minutes the rain disappears and the sun slowly starts making a much needed appearance. A walk along the seafront and it is time to head back to the hotel.
We keep checking up on the scores. It is looking dismal. Back at the hotel we turn the live online streaming on. I can’t watch. It is too much. I pace the room, trying not to listen to the commentary and curse Nasser Hussain each time he praises the English players as within a few minutes the wickets fall. Then it is a tie. What is going to happen.
The cricket expert in the family thinks this is it and goes to get ready for dinner. No it isn’t over, they still need to play the super over. We watch with abated breaths. England takes 15 runs in the over and we wait for NZ to bat. Surely that is a good score to beat. I keep remembering Sreekumari’s words from our MBBS days, “they just need to hit some sixes and it is game over”. NZ start batting and hit a six and it starts going wrong. The live streaming stops. No, no, no it can’t be. What’s happening? Frantically we try to open the website on other devices. We can’t make it work and we don’t know what is going on. Messages start coming in on our group pages congratulating the England team. Surely it can’t be, can we celebrate or is it too early? By the finest of margins we win. I have a headache and we are late for dinner.