Today was an exciting experience for several of the guys in the group. Jun, one of the students that studies with us invited us to play basketball with his friends on campus. We arranged to meet him and some of his classmates today at the hotel lobby. He called Morgan, and asked if we would like to try a chinese pork pie. The pork pie is similar to the chinese version of a hamburger. We decided to eat lunch and then meet several other of Jun's classmates at the basketball court on campus to play some games.
We had scheduled to meet in the lobby at noon. Jun and his classmates John and Pas accompanied him with two bags of pork pies. The pies were similar to pulled pork with green peppers and onion. This was served on a bun that was similar to a hard english muffin and the sandwhich was very tasty. Each of us ate a couple and then we walked to the courts. On our way, we stopped by their dormitory so they could park their bikes and change to play basketball. We wanted to see what their dorms looked like, but he had to get permission from his teacher and today the power was out in their dorm and the teacher did not want us "big deal" americans seeing the facilities. Jun told us later that his dorm was the worst on campus.
Waiting for us at the park were several of his classmates and we began to play pick up. The students were very eager to see how tall I was and if I could dunk the basketball. I did to please them, but my legs were a little sore from the run I took this morning. After a couple of games several other classmates came and we were able to play a very lengthy series of games. The courts were outdoors, and there were about 5 full length courts that many students were occupying. The international paint lines were painted in and it was the first time that I had seen those up close and in person. The Chinese students were tenative to drive the basketball into me and put up a shot. They play a much more reckless style game, and my observation was they like to jump in the air to make a lot of their plays. It was not the style of basketball I play nor prefer to play, but it was very interesting watching several of the players. Some were fairly good, while others should not have been trying to play as I was concerned they were going to get hurt.
The teams were very well mixed between chinese and american students. We played several evenly contested games and were completely exhausted by the end. The dust from playing outside made us pretty filthy, and the heat was dehydrating. After the games the walk home was tough. We needed to stop and get some beverages ASAP, and looked for the closest refrigerated bottles of water... something that can be tough to come by.
What an experience this was. It once again shows us that language is not a barrier, we were able to play a universal game and not be able to speak to one another very well, but worked together as a unit and had success.