No, I haven’t been doing any more flying. I went to my first badminton night last night. A few weeks ago, some of the people at the office decided to organize a weekly evening of badminton. The first week was when I was in Seattle, and the second week, when I was back, my sinuses were bothering me so I didn’t go. But this week there were no ready excuses to hand, so I went. It’s been something like 20 years since I last attempted the sport, so “rusty” doesn’t begin to describe the state of my skills. Decomposed into component elements and turned into something resembling crude oil, maybe. I remember back in some foggy distant decade when I got what then passed for a high-tech badminton racquet – made of aluminum, not wood. My new one makes that seem positively stone-age, with its nanotechnology (that’s what it said on the label). I think it’s carbon fiber or something. Anyway, it’s so light you hardly know you’re holding it.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s been kind of warm in Beijing lately, and yesterday was no exception. It was above 90°F outside, and almost exactly the same temperature in the Chaoyang Community College Gymnasium.
There were only seven of us this week. I heard there were 16 last week. We had rented three of the four courts in the gym, so that meant all but one of us could play at once, or all of us if you play two-on-one, which we did a little.
But it was so hot that it was prudent to take frequent breaks to rehydrate and get a little fresh air outside. As you can see, we are a very cheerful bunch.
After a couple hours of that, I was pretty wiped out, and my right forearm is pretty sore today.
I was so amused by my colleague’s T-shirt that I just had to take a picture of it.
It’s a picture of a cartoon dog, and this is what it says, in case you can’t make it out:
YOU reimv httle angei
Oussi naving you close alis mewith loveaiid nupc
Nothing is mpossible with yo bv my side
SHIRO PETTOOORANGF STORV
HAVE COME TO HERF TO GIVE YOUR GOOD LUCR
The really funny part is that her job at the office is as an English-Chinese translator. I think she finds the shirt amusing too.
And now for the Random Picture of the Day.
I came across a whole bunch of flowers walking home from work the other day. Lilies and roses – might have something to do with my nose being all stuffed up. But they are pretty. Or as I’ve just learned, piaoliang.