Cricket - the baseball of England. Now the Oval is no Wimbledon, but it is definitely a beautiful setting.
There was a low mumble stirring in the crowd. People buying food and drinks. A man singing Michael Buble and dancing with a random stranger. People carried in beers four at a time to bring to their friends.
Unlike baseball the seats are actually comfortable. Ivory chairs circled the green grass.
Although the game looks simple with two wood posts, a ball and a bat, the game has a lot of rules. I still don't understand how it all works. I do know that the hitter tries to hit it into the stands or far enough to run to the other side of the wood post. Two players exchange hitting and running down this line.
The stands filled with American music like Taylor Swift. Fans cheered, jumped, clapped, and sang. The average person drank about four beers. I met a nice Englishman born in Brighton. He attempted to explain the game further (didn't help my cause). Besides the game, we talked about studying.
They call going to school "study." Apparently they go to high school until age 16. Then college (second half of high school) for two years and graduate at 18. After that, they proceed to a university for three more years. So, this whole time people asked if I was in college I said yes. But really, I am at a university.
The game brought people together from all over the world. Three of the gentlemen in front of me were from England, France and Italy.
The game ended in about four hours. Not too shabby. I'm surprised at the respect and level of sophistication here, especially at sporting events. People wear their work clothes (suits, button up shirts, dresses) to games. They converse nicely. Very different than let's say an American football game.
A fun way to end the day and a truly British experience.