BY JAMES KING
On Saturday, two of my fellow Cronkite-Europers and I spent more than two hours walking around London’s Hyde Park in search of a protest rally that we had heard about on the Web site Castewatch.com. The site claimed that thousands of Ravidasi Sikhs would be protesting the murder of one of their gurus about a month ago.
We got to the park about 12:30 p.m. and walked around with the assumption that despite the size of the park, there was no way we could possible miss thousands of Sikhs protesting.
After about an hour, the closest thing we had seen to a Sikh protest was a guy in a turban walking with his family. I was livid. This was our first free day in London, and I wanted to go check out Big Ben, Abbey Road, etc. However, my pal Derek had heard about this march, and I didn’t want to miss it.
We continued walking aimlessly through the enormous park, asking cops, people, even dogs if they had seen anything that might resemble what we were looking for. Nobody had a clue what we were talking about (except for one dog, which I suspect may have known, but only spoke French).
After two-and-a-half hours, we threw up our hands in defeat and headed to the bus to go back to our flats. I decided that I needed a drink and went into a grocery store while we were waiting.
Once inside, it occurred to me that I could use some real groceries and grabbed milk, vegetables, meat and just about anything else anyone would purchase and then want to get into a refrigerator as quickly as possible.
As I proceeded to check out and pay for the collection of spoilable food, Derek came running into the store. “It’s here. They’re right outside. There are tons of them,” Derek said as the cashier handed back my credit card and receipt for the food I’d just bought.
Did I mention that it was the hottest day London had seen the whole time we were there?
We rushed outside, and to my amazement, several thousand Sikhs had filled the streets in the five minutes that I was in the grocery store.
What about the milk, meat and vegetables, you ask?
I threw them in my backpack and went to work. Luckily the path of this protest march was about a two-hour walk through downtown London. I guess the protestors were trying to get their point across and weren’t concerned with my rotting meal plan.
We took some great photos, watched the London police “restrain” some protestors of the protest and got a terrific story out of it.
As for my milk, it spent roughly three hours in a hot backpack. I drank it anyway.