Having heard horror stories about the preparedness of the Heathrow airport to handle huge passenger traffic, I moved towards the immigration officer with trepidation.No doubt, the lady officer behind the immigration counter was curt and wanted to clear me quickly, but she had to fully satisfy herself that the finger-print matching was done properly. These days, with the clock ticking away fast for the opening ceremony on July 27, nothing can be left to chance if you are entering London.Past immigration, getting the media accreditation card was also not a problem at all. It really came as a surprise how all this was happening so smoothly as athletes had complained they had to face long waits.But the bigger surprise was how the transportation by tube, or the Heathrow Express, into Paddington in central London was even more efficient. The fear of getting lost by official cabs was not there and in less than half an hour, five Indian mediapersons were in central London. The surprise did not end there as shared cabs were there for onward travel from central London to Stratford, where the Olympic Park is situated.Cabbies the world over like to talk. Mike, as the 64-year-old wanted to be called, was no different. Once he got talking, it was hard to stop him.He spoke of everything — recession, high prices of tickets for the London Olympics, how Stratford was a dirty area and now had been transformed.But his anger was aimed towards the London organisers (LOCOG) as he felt the tickets were overpriced. “It’s just too much paying 150 pounds per ticket for athletics and I have been told I will be allowed inside the arena for just three hours. Imagine, I spend 1,000 pounds for the family and it seems like a waste,” Mike thundered.advertisementThe mood all over London, where the pound sterling is such a strong currency, is similar. The commoner does feel tickets have been overpriced and of the million tickets up for sale, many have disappeared!That’s a story very similar to our own Commonwealth Games, where the organising committee first printed lesser number of tickets, which resulted in empty stands.Our cabbie Mike then went on to thank us for bringing sunny weather to London. After heavy showers for weeks, bright sunshine saw Londoners strip their woolens and dress lightly. He was again cautious when he said, “Don’t be fooled, one can never say when it will again start raining.”Finally, when I reached Stratford, the virtual Olympic hub in east London, I got a glimpse of the Olympic Stadium. Security was tight and like the Delhi cops, they were shooing us away from vantage points, minus the abuses.Stratford in itself is a sleepy suburb. A new shopping complex and plenty of commercial malls have come up in a big way, but the crowds aren’t huge really. Locals who live closer to the Olympic venues aren’t the ones who will be filling in the arenas as tickets are priced high and had to be booked in advance.Inside the high security Olympic Stadium complex, which also houses the international broadcast centre and the main press centre, the final coat of paint is being applied. There is a busy look and security is very tight. From wallets to cell phones, cameras and even wrist watches, everything is put through the scanner.Yes, the security personnel are courteous, but they do look worried as the crowds have started trooping in. Food outlets are getting ready and junk food stalls are bound to do good business.However, the worrying factor is a high price one has to pay for communication. Unlike New Delhi’s Commonwealth Games, where the data cards were free, here there’s a 180 pound sterling charge, which comes to almost Rs 16,000 for the entire fortnight.If you want to extend your stay for the Paralympics, it costs a bigger bomb. Welcome to London!
Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Episodic Descriptions:Episode 1 (Monday, June 26 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)): Rachel was assigned male at birth, but always knew she was a woman. Ellaha came from an educated family in Afghanistan, but was told by the Taliban that girls could no longer attend school. Kerstin grew up trapped inside East Berlin until the Berlin Wall came down. Syed’s mother was six months pregnant with him when an accident killed his father leaving his mother to raise her two sons.Episode 2 (Monday, June 26 at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT)): Mohamad left war-torn Lebanon to become a medical doctor in Canada. Mo has a career she never would have imagined possible back in China. After leaving Trinidad, Jerome rediscovered his love of soccer in his new home country. After hearing about the ‘politeness’ of Canada, Annabelle and Aidan decided to raise their children here.Episode 3 (Wednesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)): With tribal warfare raging, Jemal fled to the world’s largest refugee camp, leaving his pregnant wife behind. Janice came to Canada and found a job and the love of her life at a Tim Hortons. Abimbola realized his dream of bodybuilding in Canada, something he would never have done back in Nigeria. Rita and her family fled from Iraq to Syria – a relatively safer place at the time. She ended up being on the last plane out of Damascus before the airport was closed.Episode 4 (Thursday, June 29 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)): Hsa’s family was given a simple choice by his homeland’s oppressive government: flee or die. From a region known for rugby, Rhys moved to Canada for his love of hockey. Juliette wants to break the cycle of systemic racism and teach her kids to appreciate the diversity of Canada. Esther went from a Mexican living a secret life in the US to being a married Maritimer.Episode 5 (Friday, June 30 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)): Gannon came to Canada for love. Tony brought his experience to a small prairie town and reopened the local Legion to support veterans. Kallie lost everything when she arrived in Canada, but she built a successful and fulfilling business with hard work. Following a chance encounter on a cruise ship, Romulo moved to Canada and changed his family’s lives for the better.Episode 6 (Friday, June 30 at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT)): With three young daughters and financial struggles, John and Claudia took the biggest risks of their lives – moving to Canada to start a business without knowing how to speak English. An 88-year old is proud of all her accomplishments, including her four-person marriage and now adds her long-awaited, hard-earned Canadian citizenship to the list. Sharmila was expecting to become a Canadian alongside her mother but an unfortunate illness had her sharing her citizenship ceremony with her young daughter instead. Saliu and Adeola moved from a big city in Nigeria to a small town in Regina with reservations but found an unexpected new way of life.BECOMING CANADIAN is produced in by Antica Productions and eOne in association with CBC, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and with the participation of the Bell Fund. The series is executive produced by eOne’s Jocelyn Hamilton and Antica’s Stuart Coxe and produced by Brad Brough and Jeanette Trigiani Diehl for Antica.CBC/Radio-Canada is proud to have CIBC as a partner in celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary, in the same year that CIBC is also turning 150. For full 2017 programming information please visit 2017guide.cbc.ca..About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.About Antica ProductionsAntica produces engaging, award-winning, nation-building content. We’ve proven that our TV, digital, podcast, and branded entertainment start important national conversations. From large studio shows to intimate films and documentaries, Antica gets people talking about history, science, music, sports, and so much more. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Narrated by Canadian rapper and producer Kardinal Offishall, new six-part factual series BECOMING CANADIAN will premiere on CBC with back-to-back episodes on Monday, June 26 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), with additional episodes airing throughout the week in the lead up to Canada 150 on July 1. Produced by Antica Productions Ltd. in association with global independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), the series captures citizenship ceremonies from across Canada and reveals the amazing, inspiring and heart-warming stories of some of the approximately 250,000 people who will become Canadians in 2016/2017. All of these new Canadians have stories that are as diverse as the number of countries they are emigrating from, ranging from heartbreaking and tragic, to inspirational and uplifting. With four stories in each half-hour episode, the series captures, firsthand, how life-changing becoming Canadian can be for new citizens and those closest to them.First launched online in January 2017 with short-form digital content, BECOMING CANADIAN has amassed hundreds of participants and thousands of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and cbc.ca/2017/becoming-canadian. The digital extension of the series will feature additional new content and stories throughout the rest of 2017.Full Broadcast Schedule:Monday, June 26 at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. NT)Wednesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)Thursday, June 29 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)Friday, June 30 at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (8:30 and 9 p.m. NT) Twitter