Monday, April 23, 2007

WORLD CUP DIARY: Smoking crabs!!!

Yeah, you read that right. This happened soon after we reached St Lucia and I had a quiet smoke at our balcony...

I swear everything I'm writing is true, and my cameraperson Ankur is witness to what happened.

See, I chucked the lit cigarette butt (with about half an inch of white still left) on the sand outside the balcony, and within three seconds, a small crab lunged at the butt, caught hold of it and dragged it towards its little hole.

The crab was about two inches in diameter (yes, it was roundish), and close to the colour of the sand. But it's hole was too small for the cigarette butt to go in... So what the crab did was keep one hand/leg on the cigarette butt to sort of keep ownership over it, waited for it to get smaller, and then dragged it inside the hole.

I ran back inside my room to get the camera, but by the time I got back, it had disappeared.

I'll try this again tomorrow - have my camera ready. If it works, you have a Believe It Or Not waiting for you with proof.

Lost in Transition
Actually, the crab-smoking incident was about the only bit of positive excitement that happened on a day when few other things went right. The journey from Grenada to Barbados was eventful in that the Australian, South African, New Zealand and Irish teams were on the same flight, as were a number of the umpires and other match officials. So there were four pockets of fun on the flight as the usual delays meant we left Grenada over an hour late.

But that was only the beginning of the travails. We reached Barbados late and had to run like hell to catch the connecting flight to St Lucia. And then, when we reached St Lucia in another of those scary 20-seater aircraft, we discovered our luggage had been lost in transit. At least five other journalists I know have lost their luggage at some point or the other during the World Cup, and I guess it was only a matter of time before we did as well...

Here's a report in the Australian media - a bit exaggerated, but all right.

But that's as maybe... As things stand, we have nothing except this laptop. Went and bought some stuff like toothpaste and toothbrush and stuff earlier. Have to live on free breakfast and in hope till things work out.

But Lucia is beautiful
If it's called St Lucia, can it be anything but beautiful? St Lucia is as beautiful as Barbados, but has the added beauty of the lush mountains adding character to it. Grenada also had the hills and the seas, but the beauty of Grenada was really in its streets. The hills had a bare and barren look about them. Lucia is totally lush. All of today went in trying to (unsuccessfully) track our luggage. Will explore tomorrow.