.. Then We Take Brooklyn

First we took Manhattan, then we took Berlin Brooklyn.

During a chat with Yishi few weeks ago I casually asked about weekends now, if they have two days, 1.5 day or 1 day in China, Yishi replied: one to two days in China now, depending on the sectors; then went on to say that the Europeans and Americans commented that ..

“Chinese are greedy.” when they saw how hard and long my fellow comrades work in China.

Well, I understand the accusation well:

One, without unions, the workers have to work harder. It’s glass half full or empty. (China should have unions while USA should get ride of it.. let’s not going there .. )

Two, coming from being poor and bullied for so long, Chinese nowadays are just began to taste how money could be earned and enjoyed, legally or illegally.

DSCN6393I joked to the coordinator for being cheap, tore the page into half? She retorted:

“We’re nonprofit.”

In fact, they would tap the two tore pages back together after the captains hand in the lineups .. oh well, what do I know.

When we began the season after forming the team at the last second, none of us had thought we would get this far. Actually most of us have no idea – at least me – as where we would go and what to achieve except play little tennis in the dead winter. But as winning piled in we grew greedy. When I suffered the first defeat after three shutout battles I felt miserable as if the sky had fall down.

One becomes grrreeeedy only when he sees the potential and opportunity.

my lineup artistAs it turned out, we’ve a perfect season – and it is extending. As we were giddily prepare for the first level playoffs, the league served us two complains that rendered most strong 4.0 guys unable to compete since three girls got bumped up from 3.0 to 3.5. It was just few days shy of the playoffs. It felt unjustified.

Few comrades said .. forget it .. But most of us were fueled by the late development and fought back hard. And won.

Even with the limited resources – most 4.0 boys are handicapped due to no girls.

It’s the same drive that we shared as we faced the regional championship.

We tasted the success and we wanted more.

a German sausage It’s me, a German sausage or Michel tires? It’s recession, okay?


Sean and I have only played once and practiced few times in the past. We went to NTC early hoping to practice bit more on an open court but was being kicked out by our opposing team since they said they paid for it, from 2:30 to 3:30. Not sure it’s coincidence or what for there are 18 courts. We did get to play a little on indoor court 12. As we were waiting by Court 13, Paul began to hit against the wall to warm up. We all shouted .. stop !! .. because that’s the Wall of Doom or Defeat where the Blue Jersey also hit against yesterday .. who lost to Wai/Mary in a tight match. Paul ignored us and continued his warm up routine.

I walked onto Court 17, thinking it’s a gorgeous day and let’s just play. That’s my plan A and B and C. Our opponents (great people – firm hand shake ..) won the spinning and opted to serve. Rafael was up 40:0 but we stayed relaxed and I was Karen and Rafaelfocused so we took the first game. I remembered Wah said that ‘there’s plenty time to prepare for a shot .. ‘ .. this finally sank in to my mind. I’m still trying to do .. like getting ready .. staying focused .. keeping my racket up, not glued to the ground, etc. I need a new Pentium 10.0 chip insert into my brain to remember all of those little big things, 🙂

Sean lost his serve but we broke Karen’s. I then double faulted .. wonderful way to start serving. Two more errors I found myself 0:40. Didn’t remember what we did for the next five points but we won the game. My concentration helped; kept telling myself .. don’t go for winners, just cut down those unforced errors.

This is the wisdom for 3.0 and 3.5. Really.

Our last outing, we had 4:1 lead but ended up losing the match 4 and 1.

Kai .. Hope it’s not going to happened again ..

It didn’t, thank lord. We took the match at 2 and 2. Don’t ask me how we did it bec I don’t know, don’t remember .. had no clue.

Paul and Mary’s court finished second. Having hit against the Wall of Defeat, they lost a closely contested match, 6:4 and 7:6.

For the playoffs, we won them all by a hair margin, two out of three courts. So again, the last court to finish decided the out come. Kai and Anna had won their first set at 3 but struggled in the second and lost it in tie break by fair large margin.

We were scratched our heads asking why did we have to ride the roller-coaster all the time?

Their opponents were tough: she’s solid and experience and he’s extremely athletic, cover the baseline corner to corner without breaking a sweat.

DSCN6409The super tie break ensured.

Anna is the only member who lives across the river, far from us, and plays two leagues in two states; 8.0 in her own home town state. As with Susan, they consistently taking drill classes and lessons and still join us for practice. If you think I’m a big bum, you haven’t seen anything yet. I haven’t taken lessons for a couple of years. After playing in the league, I do find myself improved a bit. Not sure what, but improved so the league rushed out to crown me the 3.5. I’m utterly flattered.

4.0 in the horizon?

Irene, get real, will you? I’m hearing Simon’s sarcastic laughs ..

See, that’s my problem, 得寸进尺 give me an inch and I’ll take an ell.

Whatever .. never mind, let’s just move on..

So, the super tie break .. not much drama .. they won it relatively easy.

So, we’re heading to Schenectady in June.

Duke .. DSCN6429

Deborah-Rose Andrews, our Metro local league Coordinator with Duke. The bar tender Sean, a very versatile comrade on my team.


DSCN6436 xx DSCN6442

Cheers .. under the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium ..

Bill won’t go due to family issue. Our prayer and best wishes Captain!! However he said that we’re allowed to consult with the lineup wizard, but has to be before her bed time at 9pm thou.

After the match, I went to thank Deb-Rose, really meant it. It’s a hard (tedious) and perhaps thankless job. I wasn’t happy when she served me two belated complains – similar feeling when I received speeding ticket: you get hit from time to time. Hopefully my team didn’t cause her too much problem or headache, for .. we only have 24 hours each day and I wish we could all spend them wisely, meaningfully and productively.

No B.S. please.





This is the ending of one of Mao’s poems – my favored. Is this picture 稍逊风骚 or 风骚过剩?

DSCN6430 As we were drinking, the crews asked how the team was formed. I said Bill started.

Bill replied,

“I told you NO.”

Ok. Then must be Paul.

“I said NO.” Paul reminded me.

Ok, then .. I pointed to Irene Lum

“You did.”

She laughed,

“You ASKED me to join, don’t you remember?”

I did? Maybe they’re right for once, because my knees are still swollen from begging.

Whatever .. .. we’re here, still kicking. And the fact that all my kids are still talkin to me ..


I touched base with my LI cap .. also asked her if we could move to LI taking advantage of the year end rating should more members get bumped up ..

She shut back immediately:

Just enjoy it..

It further proves that Chinese are indeed hard working crazy tribe who not only greedy but also don’t know when and how to enjoy life.


#1 Doubles 4-6, 6-7
#2 Doubles 6-2, 6-2
#3 Doubles 6-3, 6-7, 1-0

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