Archive for Celestial Empire

A wedding ..

DSCN1108Not sure Tini Tran and Edward Wong’s is the first wedding announcement took place in Beijing that appear on the New York Times.

The bride and bridegroom are foreign correspondents in Beijing, the bride for The Associated Press and the bridegroom for The New York Times.

Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein were the first same-sex couple to appear in The Times’ wedding announcements.

Watch the video, it’s really heart warming. One’s mother broke down at the party
“Not of joy but embarrassment.”
17 years and they’re still going strong.


Anyway, it’s a gorgeous weekend, hope all of you had plenty out door activities. I played tennis for 3 straight days, today 7-11:30am .. the last set was against Pumpkin in doubles .. .. we or I lost, 6:3.

I need a life.

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Federer, the Terracotta Warrior

terra cottaAn old news.. ..

World’s Top 8 Tennis Players to be Cast as Chinese Terracotta Warriors
Shanghai, China — The ATP, governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuit, has commissioned a sculptor to create Terracotta Warriors of the best eight tennis players in the world to mark the Tennis Masters Cup, the prestigious circuit ending championship held in Shanghai, China.

The tournament pits the top eight male tennis players in the world against each other as they battle it out for the end of year title and the biggest cash prizes in tennis ($4,450,000). Players compete for ATP Race points throughout the season in a bid to seal one of the eight coveted Tennis Masters Cup berths.

The life-size warrior statues will be created by French sculptor Laury Dizengremel in China and will be unveiled all together as a group at the event in Shanghai, which begins on November 11. Players in contention to qualify for the tournament met with the artist at the ATP Masters Series event in Montreal, Canada, where they were measured and photographed ahead of their casting.

The Terracotta Warriors are symbolic of China’s history and internationally recognized around the world. The Terracotta Army were originally created to be buried with the Emperor of Qin in 210-209 BC and it is believed to have taken some 700,000 workers and craftsmen 38 years to complete. The Army was only rediscovered in 1974 and 8,099 figures have since been unearthed around the Emperor’s tomb. The site in China has become a major tourist attraction with nearly two million people visiting annually.

World No.1 Roger Federer and No.2 Rafael Nadal qualified for the tournament following Wimbledon this year, while rising star Novak Djokovic sealed his place during his recent run to the US Open final. The remaining five places will be determined as the ATP Race comes to a climax following the US Open, with the likes of Andy Roddick, James Blake and Nikolay Davydenko all in the running.

Recent US Open champion, Roger Federer said, “It’s always one of the goals you set at beginning of the year, trying to be there with the other top seven or eight players, to battle it out. I’ve had some great Tennis Masters Cups in my career, it’s always been one of the highlights of the year, and Shanghai is a terrific venue. I think that being sculpted as a Terracotta Warrior is an honor, I think the idea is fun, bringing together culture and sport, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final result.”

Meanwhile, reigning Roland Garros champion Nadal said, “Anything that promotes tennis in a very important market like China is good. The Tennis Masters Cup is the last tournament of the season, and is special because you play against the best, so I’m very happy to have qualified for Shanghai.”

Coincidentally, from mid-September the original Terracotta Warriors will be on show to the public at the British Museum in London, England, in an exhibition comprising the largest collection of the Terracotta Army ever shown outside China.

The Tennis Masters Cup, co-owned by the ATP, ITF and Grand Slams, is the culminating event of the men’s professional tennis circuit. The top seven players and teams in the ATP Race and Stanford ATP Doubles Race, plus eligible Grand Slam champions, qualify for the eight-man, eight-team round-robin event to be played in Shanghai, China through 2008. The Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai is held at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center, which boasts a 15,000-seat Centre Court Stadium with an eight-piece magnolia-shaped retractable roof, 16 outdoor courts and six indoor courts. The Promoter of the Tennis Masters Cup is Ba-shi (Shanghai) Industrial. For more information, please visit: or

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Beijing Chaoyang 朝阳 tennis club in New York

Li Qiang their neat t-shirt

We hosted the Chaoyang Tennis Association 北京朝阳网球协会 from Beijing today at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. Chaoyang is quasi governmental club, the players’ trip is paid for by the club or the government (not sure if I got this right..). The Sunday game was arranged by the USTA, United States Tennis Association. About week or two ago, USTA reached out to Bill, the 4.0 captain asking if any of the Chinese clubs/players would like to play with them .. so we got involved. USTA reserved and paid two courts at the Island fm 10-12 noon.

The arrangement leading up to the day was bit confusing. I have expressed interest to meet/play with the BJ team since, well they’re from my hometown. But I wasn’t on the list. When I questioned it, the organizer shot back a nasty e-mail to the group ..


can you tell any of these names are females?








Well, I haven’t seen this Beijing list before and now that I’ve seen it I couldn’t tell their gender .. but I did see the organizer put two our girls down for 2.5 .. hence I asked.

4 some

What did I ever do to this organizer to deserve being scolded in public? I don’t like the feel of it. Tennis is just a game, should be fun and enjoyable. Few in the group seem to have more spare time on hand, like to play sissy and politics. Can we all act like A MAN, have bit more tolerance? As if Irene wears pants here.

It’s just so amusing, few in the group likes to make a small match-fire into an inferno then come in as a hero or the problem solver, it doesn’t give the person more right to lay claim on this club. This club belongs to everyone. No one should try to stronghold it as a personal guild.

Then the last e-mail informing us that Beijing would only have 6 players on Sunday so our list scaled down to 6 players as well. I was not on the rotation. I understand. No problem. I just wished the organizer would mention if we could go to meet them regardless on the playing list. There was none.

The night before, one of the players I contacted earlier for car-pooling said he’ll pick me up at 9:10am the follow day.

after a gameDidn’t he know he’s no longer needed?

He was being cut as well. When I asked him, he paused. Either he or other players received other instructions or they just decided to go.

If it’s the former, it proved the organizer in deed playing politics here. If it’s the later, it shows poor organizing skill, very confusing.

I decided to go knowing well I was not invited and unwelcome.

My intention was to check out my hometown players and also being from the same city that would make them feel more comfortable. It’s beyond me that the organizer failed to see eye to eye with me.

As it turned out, the Beijing team sent more than a dozen.

Our group had more than a dozen showed up.

The CatsNY got two more courts to accommodate the mass.

Cheers .. the group came armed with a journalist Tennis World Magazine fm BeijingI have always favored an open forum (vs e-mail) for group activities where it’s easier to keep truck of what’s up and been done (with polling feature), that way can also reduce e-mail traffic. Of course, the big downside, the organizer would obviously lose ‘control’, the ability to manipulate.

Playing tennis in China is expensive, still considered a luxury sport, as with golf – the green opium.

The Beijing tennis group is very interesting.

The licensing of NRTP.

I was dumbfounded to hear a tennis rating could be licensed. The BJ players told me that as an individual they didn’t pay to be rated, but the club paid. The USTA even sent a representative to Beijing to do the rating.

“Was there training involved?” I wondered.

They didn’t know.

“Was the person white?”

“Yes. She was.”

“Does she speak Chinese?”

“No .. “ but there was an interpreter.

Why can’t the Chaoyang club read the description and rate the players themselves? Can’t they find a knowledgeable player to do so?

after lunch .. fr left: couple ... father and daughterA down payment for a future alliance?? But tennis being so international, USTA certainly doesn’t represent the world of tennis. It’s only one of few major components. There are Wimbledon and Roland Garros. .. with the Aussie in the distance.

One of the members mentioned that the Chaoyang club did consider and decided to reach out to the Americans. The USTA logo is prominently displayed on their site.

I didn’t have complete score but BJ won most matches. Few players ..

Li Qiang 李强 (top .. serving) is a 46-year old PhD candidate at Beijing Athletic Academy, 北京体育学院. He works at Normal University, my mom’s Alma mater. His path to tennis was during his teaching years at Dongbei Nongye Daxue 东北农业大学 Northeast Agriculture University where he was a martial art master, or kung-fu master. When school wanted to start tennis program, they turned to him who knew nothing about Love 40. With innate athletic ability, he learned the game then taught. He was HelongJiang Provincial single champion.

This couple (pic above .. husband to my right wife to my left) work at Beihang 北航, 北京航空学院 Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The wife visited Moscow in 1992 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and brought back two tennis racquets. They both plagued into the sport, and primarily play at Beihang where they work and live.

A sign and sight in New York

The PhD team (to my left .. Dad and his girl). Dr. Dad is professor at Beihang’s Research Center for Condensed Physics and Materials Physics – phew .. may I get my PhD degree now ?? after I copied down this long string of alien stuff from his business card :). Dr. Daughter is a life cycle analyst, taking the title of Director at the Dairy Management Inc. in Chicago. She doesn’t play but came down to see dad for a few days.

Wang Jihong is the correspondent. Yes, the BJ club came armed with a 26-year old journalist who writes for Tennis World Magazine.


Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to everyone on the Beijing delegate.

We filled three tables at East Buffet in Elmhurst for lunch. It happened the organizer sat at our table who hardly said anything throughout the meal. Speaking the same dialect doesn’t mean you’ll have common language.

This McDonald ad was opposite to the East Manor Restaurant in Elmhurst, New York. Not Beijing .. mind you.

More pics on FB
More trouble follows

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Poorly disguised Nash joins Beijing pick-up game

nashThis is pretty cute ..

Suns guard Steve Nash showed up in disguise at a Beijing pick-up game over the weekend, hoping to shoot some hoops incognito. Unfortunately, he forgot his fake mustache and monocle.

Nash is in China for the week doing promotional and charity work. After a few three-on-three half-court games with local regulars, Captain Canada crossed over to the nearby soccer pitch to play a little footy.

Check out more photos here.

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An insatiable player

Chinese has few idioms describing someone, if you give him an inch and he’ll take an ell – 得寸进尺, reach out for a yard after taking an inch .. 不识抬举 fail to appreciate someone’s kindness or not know how to appreciate favours

.. ..

One of the 老爷们儿 in the welcoming committee that went to the airport to chauffeur Mr. First caught cold and is now on antibiotic since.

Since the win on Saturday, the group is busy coordinating their next battle: Section playoff at Syracuse, New York, August 7-9. Who’s going and when (we groupies only go during the last two days); who shares a room with who and who car pooling with who, which day to depart, what time to depart .. .. is there a website that can handle all of those?

They need at least 8 players: two singles and 6 doubles. Then by 6pm last night, Mr. First informed the coordinator that he won’t be able to come Thursday night [that’s ok ..] .. then he went on to say that he may even not able to come Friday night [first match starts 9am on Friday].
His excuse is too much work this week.
I hope the 3.5 boys are taking different approach to the little whinny. Ignoring him might be the best medicine to cure someone who needs attention all the time.
Just very curious to see 看他怎么下台 how and when will Mr. First come to play with us.
Couple of players who originally planed to leave on Friday now changed to Thursday. No worry, Mr. First. We got enough manpower here.
Irene is the only one in the group couldn’t land a job (laid off Dad is only recently, so that made two), but she keeps herself busy. We all have 24 hours. We prioritize our life. Obviously the play off isn’t important. We understand.
One Dad negotiated with his wife to go on planned vacation with their three children to Florida without him. We don’t know if that would cost him his arm or leg .. JK .. I like his wife a lot, actually she is a 4.0 and probably can beat the crap out of few undesirable character for sure, no problema.
I disdain long drive. But I’m going, showing my support to the troop.
As I’m writing this, DQ had just made concrete reservation for hotel, 10 rooms in total. 20 people strong.
Oh people, let’s the party begin.
I’m gonna shopping now, a party dress that covers my belly and thighs and white chalk that erase my wrinkles, and big bag of love for everyone …

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The USTA Area Champion 2009

CIMG7000Very happy to report that our Chinamen 3.5 team [guys, pls come up with a cool name], most of them – if not all – are CatsNY members had won their hard fraught title: The USTA Area Champion 2009 last night.
The field to the top was pretty crowded, aside from many other talented teams, there are path-blocker Manhattan and Brooklyn, both they never had beaten in previous attempts.
Elated was an understatement.
They showed the exit to Manhattanites Friday night with a convincing 4:1 win.
Last night they were all fired up, took the runaway match at love:
We the groupies did our part, clapping and cheering. I clapped for the opponents as well when they produced a winner.
See how happy and 风骚 this benchwarmer is 🙂 ..
.. we all love u, Lou ..CIMG6990
The USTA League is a nation wide recreational but competitive tennis league. It has four divisions: Adult (19+), Senior, Super Senior and Mixed Doubles. The teams are formed according to the NTRP ratings, like 3.0, 3.5, etc. so every one can compete at their own level.
Play starts at the local level with the chance to advance to an area championship – for our team, the Area matches were played at USTA National Tennis Center, or Billie Jean King. Then move on to district/state – this up coming weekend’s Section/State, is held at Syracuse (for the Northeast) and culminating at national level that held at Tucson Arizona every year.
Last time I was in Scottsdale, I saw the flyer in the hotel and went to the courtside checking it out (did the same at Hilton Head). The camaraderies were just awesome. Nice picnic spreads (Irene always has an eye for food before the balls), some even used real wine stems. Emotions and nerves could run high, and raw. The same goes on at our local leagues. Yesterday we walked by a 3.5 Ladies. Lord, on one court, the four girls were too timid to play, looked like 2.5 or choking artist Dinara Safina.

a happy endingI played in the USTA league once, years ago, and once at town club. Pumpkin’s current coach is also our town club coach who tried to recruit me. I should probably reconsider, and join the fray? The competitive edge would improve my game. The USTA league is just a straight playing but the club has training. I declined in the past due to lack of time. I still don’t have enough time to spare, plus ..

.. not sure this old dog could learn a new trick or two !!

a pitch hitter?The event last night started with a little jitter: one of opposing team’s singles player showed up without check in at the desk, and no one seemed to have seen him before. They worried that the Brooklyn team might bring in a pitch hitter. So I was dispatched to take a picture of him. I don’t know their check in process, whether the players need to show ID. But Peter, our second single player took the match at 1 and 2.
without disrespect .. this isn't the Garfield the catThe format of play is 5 matches: two singles matches and 3 doubles. Each match is best of 3 sets. If the match is level at 1:1, then there is a super tiebreak, first to win 10 by 2 point wins the match. A team obviously needs to net 3 match wins.

Ken and Tom teamed up to play the second doubles. Their opponents wore cool sneakers. As evident in this picture, Mr. Blue Sneakers has good serve motion, and pretty lethal. They displayed really sunny attitude, stayed positive throughout the match, even after double faults or out played by a winner from Tom/Ken. Good couple partners.
the blue sneakersCharlie and Henry played the third doubles. When they miscounted score that resulted in their opponents’ favor. The competitors told them so and corrected it.
This is a sportsmanship.

Okay, lord will forgive me for gossipping here.
Their win did not come cheap.
They had to pay for their first single player to come to play.
Don’t rush to call to report an abuse: Mr. First was on the roaster from day one. But he had a meeting in the west coast during the Area Final.
Isn’t there this unspoken courtesy, that if you sign up for a team or project, it says you committed to it, with you time (in a grass root association, with money too).
Fine, granted, they might not have anticipated making the final. But they did. And with a win so close, they wanted Mr. First Singles to play.
He’s cool about it:
“Sure, but you pay for my air travel and airport transfers.” The transfers included New York too. Never mind that he has a tennis-loving wife, who complained at USTA last Friday by saying it out loud
Three guys went to Newark to welcome Mr. First on Thursday night but failed to find him immediately. When they finally did Get Shorty, crossed the state line back home, it was 3am Friday.
Her hubby made quite an entrance.
I cringed a bit upon hearing 老爷们儿 – old farts. We sure all like to borrow expressions that we seldom use but found cute and appropriated. But 老爷们儿 isn’t one of them, 哥们儿 maybe. It really is older and uneducated people’s usage, very coarse. The most colloquial language or the peasants speaking we used, was like 伍大妈 or 孩儿她妈, Mrs. Eng, with the middle character takes a quick jump over, touch on it lightly; or 儿他爹, son’s father = hubby, etc.
Oh well, what do I know.

Anyway, so the team sprinte into action, running around rising fund.
Some one offered helping hand, to use mileage. But it has one stop.
Ok, I will get a new camera .. eventually“Direct flight only.” Mr. First insisted.
A good team player who didn’t ask to fly private.
I met them a year or so ago (but haven’t seen them around for a long while). Learned that they both from a top notch university in Beijing, and retired in their 40s here in New York for he had made enough fortune from writing codes to build sophisticate trading modules/models on Wall Street (hope my failing memory had it right).
I am not an arbiter but would like to offer my 2 cents here, this is my blog.

I never feel the richer one should pick up the tab at the end of a meal, unless it’s appropriated (let good common sense be the judge), like s/he owes a favor, or wants to treat his family/friends. Don’t we all grab the check or lend a helping hand with less fortunate friends/family members, without hurting their pride or feelings? So having said that, I found this behavior and demand is below the belt.

$1700 was raised.

Not sure the recipient cared to know among the 11 donors, one was single working girl and one was laid off dad who has a newborn, a school aged daughter and a wife to support.
the board game
“We wanted to support the team.” They said.

Having subsidy his court fees each time he played and flown him across the country, in retrospect, the team didn’t really need Mr. First’s service: they beat Manhattan 4:1 and Brooklyn 5:0. All they needed were 3 match wins.
Worth it, to have a player on your team who puts I before T?

The subsidy: Mr. First refused to pay for his fair share of court fees. Apparently there is small cost associated with playing the league, paid by the player who plays on the day – grand sum of US$18.75 – some team wind up with large number of players on rotation, meaning not everyone gets to play every week. When Old Irene played years ago, we only paid when we were the host team. It happened, our home base was at USTA. I still remembered our captain, Sharon Brannon [Brennon or something in that neighborhood] who didn’t play tennis at all, who’s psychologist, who lived in the City (Manhattan), who’s single and talked about it openly even we’ve just met, who had a little Jap sidekick, who wore a pair of yellow latex kitchen gloves !!! Lord, I often felt that she needed a shrink.

Pay to play is only fair.

Early in the year Mr. First had approached another captain indicating his interest to join. Initially the captain was delighted because Mr. First was highly recommended by a few good men. Citing that he was recruited enthusiastically by two other teams, and was offered terms that he could not refuse, plus he can play free indoors as much as he wants hence he asked if he could play for free. The 15-year veteran captain walked away for he found this expectation to be a bit unkosher.

our partial benchwarmer/cheerleaders/groupies watching Jimmy's doublesDo those unsportsmen keep us all appreciative of our decent friends, like sweet Irene who never says an unkind word toward anyone, nor kibbitzer? Oh, you no have no humor? You must be in the wrong room.

I know I need a new camera, and probably pair of eye glasses too. Many pictures came out blurry … Her ankle tattoo is pretty neat.

The reasons that Irene hasn’t replaced her Casio yet was due to

1) loyalty to the old toy
2) Irene doesn’t want anyone to see her wrinkles and 老人斑 oldman specks
3) the pictures are sharp but only Irene’s failing eyes see them blurry
4) I’m broke
5) all of the above

Love to all

And best of luck to our Chinamen team at Syracuse. You go guys and gals … all the way to Arizona!!

World Journal Newspaper reporting

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Lang Ping 郎平

Dancing Queen lent me her favored book, Jenny Lang‘s bio 郎平自传 激情岁月. I’ve never heard of this volleyball star since I don’t follow the sport. I finished the book in a day. Jenny is very thoughtful, considerate and balanced lady. I’d love to read on her account the match US defeat China 3:2 in Beijing in 2008 when she captained the US team .. to the consternation of ..? or she was still totally loved by the home crowds?

She mentioned the The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I saw the movie and was moved to tears.

I tried to look up her book on baidu or amazon China but couldn’t find it except some excerpts from her book on baidu. I don’t claim to be an able researcher.

Would volleyball attract more fans if the girls wear the bekinis (and the guys in G-string?) like the beach volleyball? What’s the merit of beach volleyball anyway? The 2nd or 3rd tier volleyballers? I enjoyed Gabrielle Reece. Are there male beach volleyball players?

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NFL in Beijing

OMG .. Might the little Giants play an exhibition game in Beijing next season? I’ll be there.

A Chinese footballer? I don’t see him coming because the physical attribute is so important. I could see Chinese baseballers. And there are basketballers already in the leagues in the US.

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The good US of A


Xiaoping came back from Shanghai this past summer and told me,
“New York food is inedible.”
Shanghai is that good?
She smiled and said .. yes.
My last visit to Shanghai was 1985 and stayed at Jinjiang Fandian 锦江饭店 Hotel which was the place in town.
Last Monday Mark bought a pair of 15 years old twins to the game. They just arrived in New York on 9/13/2008 from Shanghai. They have been playing tennis for the past eight years. And they’re good at it. So during a water break, I had little conversation with one of them.
“How come you end up in New York?”
“We immigrated here.”
“Why?” Thinking the food is just so so here, and the economy .. and ..
“We all want to come.” She looked surprised.
“How long did it take you for getting a immigration visa?”
“We applied in 1996.”
“This year and this time, people still want to come to US?”
“Of course.” She must be think what a moron she’s talking to.
“What’s so good about US?”
“Air .. food .. affordability ..” Ok, air is a give. But food?
“Food is good here?” I was surprised.
“Of course, the foods are just taste better here ..” Sure not the McDonald’s?
She continued, “it’s cheap here. cheaper to rent (she used term 借房子) and to buy. We’re paying $1,500 for two bedroom in Flushing. If it were in Shanghai, it would be $2,500 ..”
Their parents are here with them. Dad hasn’t found a job and Mom works as nanny in NJ.
“My Dad was a project manager in Shanghai and Mom has not worked in years.” I would think that unlike my generation or their parents, the youngsters growing up in new China would have second thoughts for coming to the USA.
Amused and glad to read Christopher Hill* still considers US a power house. On advising how to dish advice, he said .. that

For many people in the world, they look at America, and they see an enormous country with an extraordinary amount of power. Pure power. And so they feel that asymmetry immediately as soon as they meet us. So we have to understand how people look at us sometimes. So advice coming from a country with enormous power can be taken wrongly.

Ok, hopefully I did not take his sentence out of context. Giants is leading Arizona 24:12 … Go my little Giants … Great to know that the country I chose to call home still welds power, pure power. It’s just pretty sexy.

Anyway, I asked another transplant Shanghainess for conformation. He said, (as well as Yishi) .. that food is much better in Shanghai – duh – .. but people in Shanghai are very 崇洋媚外 (fawn on or toady to foreign powers).. there isn’t a moral story or punchline, but you just have to love Beijingers better 🙂 .. there is a long rivalry between these two cities.
The twins are poised and polite, attending Cardozo High in Bayside. Miss Blue said that they are struggling with English but math, .. math is a joke. ——–

*Christopher Hill is the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Since February 2005, he has been lead negotiator on talks with North Korea aimed at ending its nuclear program.

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Tennis in Beijing

the group .. .a playdate
Tennis and golf are luxury sports in China.

The summer 2003. One weekend Yishi summoned group of her Qinghua friends, we marched to the countryside, eight families in six cars. As we were driving, my children saw more high-rise buildings. ChangPing used to be a remote area to us, the city slickers, now a part of Beijing landscape. There were skeletons of street vendors selling peaches.
“I bet they bought the peach from the city to sell here.” Wang commentedThere were some farmlands, but patchy. I forgot the resort name. The hotel was adequate. The amenities included an indoor tennis court (carpet), small swimming pool – I only remembered those two, since that’s all I cared and used. The tennis court looked clubby, dark and felt seldom used. The court fee was astronomical, US$32 per hour. With that, you get two lazy ball girls who dressed to the tee but didn’t nothing. The manager didn’t like my Ked sneakers, insisted that would damage their court surface, made me rent a pair of sneaker for 5 RMB.
the happy trio water ..
The swimming pool was ok, although small, was about US$8 per day.
That night, we had dinner at the village, obviously. The shack was ok, looked the part, one story with outer and inner courtyard. Looked like a formed living quarter, without a main dinner hall, all small rooms, perhaps the bedrooms. The savvy lady who served us was pretty sleek. No makeup, non-nonsense with a short haircut. Just like any working girl you’d found on the streets of Manhattan. Her black jacket looked like from Ann Taylor (it was July), simple and profession. A ball pen was hanging on her neck. We decided to have the hot pot of games, plus few suggestions she made. I couldn’t pin down her accent. Her exchange with us was short and terse. Was she hiding something, or running away from someone/thing? Bad teeth.

the main gate yummmy but chewy

Kids had a field day. We seemed the only diners there. So kids had run of the place. From the courtyard, to the dinning rooms – they dined in another room since each room was so small ..
The food .. .. the hotpot tasted great, but the games were over cooked, chewy. ..
That night, we played baifen.
Sorry it’s been six years since, but Irene still remembered this incident:
Six of us played with two decks of cards. Two wives with four husbands. Irene was kind of slow and put down an extra card in the base. Now, as a good sportsman, I would or any of my girlfriends who play with me often, would inform me regardless of being my partner or opponents because we all want a good game that being played fairly.
When the hand was depleted to the last round did Irene realize she was one card short.
One of the husbands who I found very cocky laughed with triumphal,
“I saw you put that extra card down.” He said, taking pleasure in my misfortune.
“Really? Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.
“Why should I tell you?” He retorted.
He did have a point.
During one of his seven wins in France, Lance Armstrong waited for his closest competitor who falls off the bike to get back on before racing again.
Ok, I wasn’t dealing with world class. But was it my fault for always hoping for?

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