Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 23 2005

Every Monday evening I play badminton with two pug…

Every Monday evening I play badminton with two pug-nosed women in the musty, mosquito-filled gym along the banks of the Xindian River. The red velvet curtains have never been raised and keep the muggy heat in quite efficiently in the summer, less so in the winter.

I really enjoy playing the game; it’s like tennis but with less running about, and the birdie is very satisfying to smack with the racket. I’d like to think good reflexes are a part of it, but I haven’t gotten to that level just yet. I like the quick back-and-forth and lack of time to think about one’s move before one is called upon to perform it.

And yet, there are these two pug-nosed women. I think one of them cloned the other. The older PNW tends to narrate each and every thing that’s happening on the court, no matter if she’s playing or not. It’s like she has some secret radio audience hanging on her every word. The younger PNW follows her around like a puppy. A really annoying puppy.

There’s also a doctor who comes every time. He works at a clinic in Dapinglin, and everyone calls him “Doctor”. When he walks in at the beginning of practice everyone shouts “The doctor’s here!”, a la Norm on “Cheers”. The doctor is a very good player and can suss out his opponent’s weak spot almost immediately and take advantage of it; apparently he plays several times a week, and he seems pretty smug about it.

Most of the players are better than I am, actually, with the exception of the pug-nosed women and friends people bring in to try to get them hooked on the game. They tolerate me and try to teach me how to play, except I am a hopeless student when it comes to trying to absorb anything told to me when I’m actually playing. Still, it’s exercise and a lot of fun, a nice, fast-paced activity to balance out the slower, more forceful tui-shou and sword practice I do on Wednesdays.

Now if I could just make swimming and bicycle riding more of a regular thing, I could actually claim that I actually exercise, maybe even eat a donut or two.

posted by Poagao at 5:02 pm  

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