My husband got 4 corporate tickets to watch the T20 cricket match between South Africa and New Zealand. Seeing as this year is all about making memories by taking on new experiences I thought “Why not”. Our public transport is free with an accompanying sport event ticket, so we decided to take the train to Eden Park instead of having the same traffic congestion as we did for the lantern festival. You could spot my excitement a mile away, as I have never been on a train before. My husband takes the train into work everyday so he knows the schedule, timing and destination of the trains, but I was still hesitant about getting there. We boarded the train, and the train manager blew the whistle (I thought that was super cute as it was an old fashioned whistle and the sound immediately made me think of travelling during the early 1900’s). The doors closed and very silently the train departed. It wasn’t as smooth of a ride I thought it would be, with some little bumps and unevenness as the train automatically follows the tracks from the one stop to the other. We had 16 stops before reaching Kingsland (Eden Park). It took approximately an hour to get there, but knowing how much it would have cost us in fuel if we took the car it was well worth it.
At the venue we had a short 2 minute walk before entering the gates of the cricket stadium. The game had already started when we walked through the gates looking for the corporate section, when the crowd erupted with celebratory cheers. The atmosphere was electrifying. We took our seats, which was in a covered section and I sat amazed at the size of the venue. The bright lights shining unto the field and the players, how small they suddenly look. We usually watch cricket on television and are use to having the commentators talking you through what is happening but watching it live you basically absorb the energy of your neighbouring supporters and cheer when your team is doing well. We were in the minority supporting South Africa, but honestly, the best team will win on the night and that is absolutely okay with me. I am not a die heart fan of any sport in particular and enjoy watching it for the entertainment value.
Our kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves too. They were exited for the sake of excitement. My daughter was anxiously waiting for a Mexican wave to start. And when one did, at the opposite end of the stadium she was cheering it on to come all the way around to us. It did! She was almost hanging of the edge of her seat as it approached our section, and exuberantly threw her arms in the air as it came past. I love how much pleasure she gets out of the small things in life.
When the game was over (South Africa won by 79 runs), we made our way back with the rest of the 1000’s to the train station. Our trip back home took 2 hours as we had to wait over an hour to board the train. The trains were packed to the brim with an assortment of people, but what I appreciated the most was that everyone was in good spirits. No sore losers, no fights, arguments or negativity. Just people making their way home after an eventful night.
Sportsmanship at its best!