Not a whole lot of excitement for today, so just a quick update. I went to the gym for the first time today, and it was an interesting experience. After getting the payment squared away (and rebuffing their attempt to rip me off), I worked out for about an hour. Obviously everyone just watched me work out, because its much more interesting to watch a white person work out than work out yourself. I also watched them work out a little bit, and was overall impressed with how in shape many of them were. Lots of them were very big and had big muscles, not too different from an American gym. Some of them however, were doing some laughably ridiculous exercises with terrible form, almost guaranteeing an injury at some point. This happen in US gyms too, but this was even more egregious than anything that I have ever seen. I will try to post a video or picture at some point of an example.

The more interesting aspect of the gym session was the basketball, badminton, and ping pong that was being played. The Chinese love these 3 sports, similar to America with basketball, baseball and football. A young group of athletic looking guys was playing basketball on a small half court and they were pretty terrible. It was hard not to laugh at their attempts at dribbling or driving to the basket, because it often ended with them chucking the ball over the entire backboard. I would have easily been the best player on the court which would almost definitely not be the case at any gym or college bball court in the USA. So I look forward to playing some games with them. They were pretty good at badminton, but I think that I would have been able to hold my own against them because of my tennis background. But ping pong…you should have seen these guys playing ping pong. It was CRAZY! There were 3 tables, and every person playing would have been the best person I have ever seen play. It was like a movie (I was thinking Forest Gump), almost unbelievable at first. They were hitting it back and forth ridiculously fast, with rallies longer than I have ever witnessed. They also were all holding the paddle upside down, the way the pros do it, which was also pretty cool to see. Needless to say all of them would have beaten me without giving up a point, and I have only felt completely outclassed in ping pong once in my life. Maybe I will come back a ping pong champion, but I have my work cut out for me…

Thats all for now, bedtime on this side of the globe. Nite nite.

The Master said, “A gentleman takes as much trouble to discover what is right as lesser men take to discover what will pay.” The Analects, 4.16

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