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Becoming a Brit

08 August 2005

I have lived in England for more than a year now. And in that year, I have become a different person. Slowley but surely, I have become a Brit.

How do I know this?

Well the first signs became visible when I started to play rugby. A sport much maligned by myself in the past for being nothing but a bunch of people on a big pile and lots of pushing and shoving. What was the sport in that? I still don't know why I start ed to play rigby when I got here because I still felt the same about the sport when I joined Old Leamingtonians Women's RFC in August last year.

Then I watched The Golf on TV. Again, not by choice but because JD watches it and actually considers learning to play as she feels it could further her carreer (Networking opportunities galore on a golf course). So another sport that I had always considered boring, stupid, useless and a waste of TV time became interesting.

But yesterday I passed my last and most serious test: Test Cricket.

The Ashes are being played at the moment. A series of 5 matches between England and Australia and the winner gets a little urn with some ashes in it. These are, according to the legend, the ashes of Cricket itself. Well, at least figuratively speaking. it is unclear what is really in the little urn. Anyway, they are called The Ashes because in 1882, for the first time in history, England lost a cricket match, in England, against Australia, a country that was only just formed fomr bloody convicts and immigrants. And they beat The Motherland. It inspired one newspaper reporter to write an obituary:

"In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval, 29th August, 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances, RIP. NB The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia."

And so, every so many years (2? I am not sure) England plays Australia and the winner of the 5 matches is said to 'hold the Ashes'.

Of course Australia wins most of the time these days as they are so bloody arrogant good.

But yesterday things were totally exciting. Yes I know, exciting and cricket usually do not feature in the same sentence, especially not for those who do not understand what the hell it is all about.

The bottom line: England had to bowl Australia out and they only needed 2 more people out to win. But Australia was doing really well and it was scoring more and more runs. And it looked like against all the odds, Australia would get more runs than England because England seemed unable to get all the Australians out. (There, does that make sense to you non-cricket people?).

In the end, England finally managed to bowl the Aussies out with only 2 runs left. 2 runs. That is usually achieved by hitting the ball only once and running 2 runs. So basically, it came down to the very last ball of the match. It was going to be England or Australia. I was biting my nails.

And then the phone rang. My dad. He would not understand the tension. So, and here it comes.....I let it ring. Yes, ladies and gentle men, I did not answer the phonecal from my father because I was watching the Cricket.

And that is when I knew I had become more English than I was prepared to admit.

Needless to say that I can not wait for the next match test to start on Thursday. Go England!!


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