Travelling is always fun. Travelling in trains is even more fun as you can get to do a lot of things besides covering the distance. And travelling in train in the United Kingdom is the most fun.
Not just because 99 per cent of these trains are running on time, not just because the stations and platforms are as clean as the footpaths on the streets, not just because the thought that has been put in to keep the luggage carefully, not just because their in-house snacks bar is just wonderful, but also because of the size and capacity of the trains.
Usually, the BritRail trains have six to eight coaches. However, size is no bar when it comes to some of the interior routes, as on the Southampton-Bristol route.
It was a two-coach train, something nobody in India could ever imagine. And as there was no space for a snacks bar, the eating and drinking part — which seems a must for every Englishman — was taken care of by a roaming trolley which contained items considered junk food by most Indians parents but are eaten by most British parents and children alike.
ICL, the talking point
The Indian Cricket League is not only making waves back home, it is also the talking point here.
As news of Kapil Dev's sacking as NCA chairman trickled in just before the match began, even the cricketer-turned-commentators were seen discussing it at the snacks bar.
What was intriguing for most was the decision of Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf to join the rebel league. "What could have made him almost call off his international career?" one of them wondered.
"Maybe he was disappointed at not being appointed captain and then left out of Pakistan's team for the Twenty20 World Cup."
It wasn't only English players who were having a ball at the Rose Bowl, but the crowds as well. First, a splendid performance by their batsmen and bowlers, and then, perhaps more importantly, a group of ladies, stripped down to their innerwear, tried to run on to the pitch.
It looked like their plan was to carry on to the field, but the security staff came in to their way, forcing them to march back towards the door.