Ping Pong

The two most popular sports in China are ping pong and badminton. Having already dabbled with badminton and being the natural born athlete that I am I felt that it was time to start developing my ping pong game.

There are ping pong tables at the gym I have joined and over the past couple of months I have been playing Ben and Sam (two of the other teachers). We would borrow paddles and balls from the gym and play. As you all might have expected, (and not being cocky), I was the best out of the three of us. Ben came in a distant second and Sam was new to the sport.

Over time Ben has gotten a lot better and Sam has improved as well. Looking back I have only lost two games to Ben and Sam combined over the past five months. I have been using all of my dad’s dirty tricks with slices and spin. It’s unstoppable. The Chinese even get a little flustered when I play them.

The paddles we were borrowing from the gym were really bad and falling apart. I decided that if I wanted to take my game to the next level I needed the right equipment. So I went out and bought a ping pong paddle. It was super expensive, a whopping 20 RMB paddle (and that’s paying full price).

There are two different sides to the paddle. The red side is dimpled 

and the black side is smooth.

I wrote my name on the paddle case in case I lost it. But I had to write USA on it so people would know who to give it back to. There are a couple of foreigners who go to the gym, but I am the only American there so they don’t really know my name but they know that I am American.

Thanks to this paddle I am now unstoppable among my friends.

I’ve started branching out in search of some tougher competition. I have started asking random Chinese people at the gym if they want to play. In the beginning I had gotten mixed results. Many were reluctant to play against me but did. When we start hitting the ball back and forth they realized I was not to shabby. Others straight up refuse to play against me, maybe it’s because they thought I wasn’t good enough. But since I have been playing for a while and I have proved that I am not horrible all the people recognize me and are willing/excited to play against a foreinger.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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