I can tell you that just about everyone at Saturday’s P&G sponsored tournament thought that when they saw Anders walk in. They changed their minds by the end of the tournament!
Let’s start at the beginning. A few weeks ago T challenged Anders to a game or two or three of ping-pong. Anders beat him and T admitted he was surprised at Anders’ skill. When the notice came around for the P&G tourney, T asked Anders to play as his partner. They practiced twice in the week before. That was it.
Saturday we arrived at the locale. It was not easy to find. We walked through the lobby to a back hallway, down some stairs, followed the sound of ping-pong balls, and arrived at a door that was cemented open. I think it was a former bomb shelter. The door looked exactly like the one we had in our house in Switzerland only I guess the threat of war has passed as the door was cemented in a permanent open position. 🙂 It was exactly like the church basement from your youth. It looked and smelled the same. Again, we were the only non-Chinese. We were also the only ones that we knew and were beginning to doubt Ben. Not long after I found a seat in the corner (the perfect people watching perch), a few people Anders knew arrived and they were soon warming up.
Anders decided to play in the singles division as well but got an unlucky draw. He had to play a qualifying round just to make it to the bracket and unfortunately lost. I’m not just being the ever-supportive wife when I tell you he held his own against the guy. Both games were close.
Then we waited around for the singles division to finish and it was time for the doubles. He and T were great. They served well, returned serves well, and danced around each other like they were old partners. When it was time for the final in the Men’s Doubles, the crowd had gathered to watch the “laowai” and his Chinese partner. There was more than once when Anders managed to make a great shot or return a tough serve and the crowd oohed. I’m embellishing a bit but it was fun to watch the spectators’ faces and listen to them. T and Anders ended up taking second place. The men that won were excellent players and very good sports.
If you’re tired of reading about how nice the Chinese people are just log off now because I’m going to do it again. The Chinese people are so nice!!! All of the people who played were P&G employees but Anders only knew about 10 %. The only people who I knew were Anders (obviously), T, P, and XJ. But…so many people came up and talked to me and chatted. They were all smiles and congratulatory after he took 2nd place.
Yep, Anders is spreading the love one ping-pong tournament at a time here in China!
4PM – 87°