Badminton Fun

I have been a bit behind in my posts – it’s unbelievable just how quickly the hours rush past here. I came here to China thinking I would spend a lot of time writing – not just this daily journal of my thoughts and adventures in China, but also a book of short stories I am desperately trying to complete. This set of short stories is based partly on friends I have known, little incidents they have told, and it’s their life that inspires me to write more fiction about them. I am halfway through Voozy’s – a would-be-drummer, mother-of-one, former flying accounts officer – and I am hoping to finish it before this month at least! Previously, I thought I could write a story a week! How I am humbled! Learning this language is a 24-hour job! Birdy was telling me the other day that I was mumbling characters in my sleep!

Saturday was a quiet day of sorts. After lunch, we went over with Yoke and Dawei to Renmin Park for a game of badminton. Yes, we just don’t give up! Dawei was armed with brand new racquets, which we were hoping he wouldn’t break this time! The park was bursting with life – it’s just about my favorite place in Chengdu. It’s so brimming with local flavor – the songs, dances, and those little trees that are all bursting with the prettiest flowers. Intricate and well laid out, the park is what I wish Bangalore would have. But then, we can’t really go to Lalbagh or Cubbon Park hoping to dance, can we? Imagine the Shiv Senas and whatever local thugs ganging up and shredding our dignity because we dare offend Indian culture!

How about some dancing classes on a Saturday evening? In public?

And these flowers!

Spring is just about to begin!

However, after wandering through the singing and the dancing, we eventually made our way to a small clearing where there were some people already playing badminton. The young and the old – it doesn’t matter, they just love the game.

Dawei with the new racquet

And let the games begin! I have never played a game with so many curious onlookers. It was immense fun. I am sure the Chinese must have been thinking these stupid waiguo ren are making such fools of themselves. Dawei was more lenient on the racquet this time – in fact, he was almost apathetic. I wonder if the man ever displays any passion at any time. It was a laugh riot, and as we made our way back in an incredibly crowded bus (I didn’t pay the fare again, haha), I thought to myself of all the Saturdays I spend back home, and wondered just why such fun seems so expensive back home. Weekends mean going to coffee houses – Rs150 or so for a coffee in Barista, an expensive lunch more or less, endless wandering in malls. Perhaps at the end of the day I would have spent Rs 1500 or more – on Saturday, my total cost was RMB2 for the bus. Really, as the Visa ad goes, there are some things that money just cannot buy. Although I would dearly love many Visas in my life!

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