Table tennis is a popular sport in Hong Kong. No one teaches you how to play. You learn by hanging around the dozens of outdoor tables in your school's court yard. You wait for your turn to challenge the winner of the last game. If you win, you play the next in line. If you lose, you either go to the back of the line or move on to try your skill at another table. With this system, skillful players get to play a lot, but everyone always gets a chance to compete against someone "good." You quickly learn to play at tables with those you can beat or that you want to beat, or spend most of your free time waiting in line.
Today we decided to see if those dormant muscle memories could be reactivated. However, before we can actually play, we need some paddles. Most of the paddles at the local sporting goods stores are no better than the sandpaper-covered ones at the local Y. Since it was lunch time, we thought we would head down to Chinatown to see if we could locate something better. We did, but they were not available in the stores, and someone will call us in a day or so. How we got this "lead" is a story worth telling.
We found these paddles in a bookstore (don't ask). When we asked whether they had any better ones, the old guy behind the counter picked up a small white pad, wrote down a name of a restaurant and said, "Go there, eat lunch. Ask for owner. He know."
OK...we went, had a nice lunch, and asked for the owner when the waiter brought the check. We told the owner that the bookstore guy sent us here because we were looking for "pro-quality" ping pong paddles. He looked at us and said, "Hmmm, I don't play, but I know a guy who does." He then took out his phone, dialed a number, and walked away. A few minutes later, he came back and said the guy "knows a guy" who sells high-quality paddles. If we leave him a number, he'll call us in a day or so. We left him our boss' number.
We'll see if the "guy" ever calls. If he does, we would definitely order a paddle, but we will send one of the interns to go pick it up. Hey, we are no fool. [Permalink]- Table Tennis