Team matches take over our U.S. week-ends. Here not. The boys play on just as many teams, but instead of games (“exchanges”), they train. They save up competing for one huge, all-day blow-out. Today was that volleyball tournament for Kenny (Ethan’s European handball event was last week-end). These things feature dozens of teams from all over China, a caterer, rainbows of uniforms, awards.
Absent: parents. Also great. The kids live their own lives.
Today at Dulwich College Beijing, our Under-14 British School of Beijing Bears took 5th. (Last week-end at the German School, Ethan’s team was eliminated before the quarterfinals.) Lots of floor dives, so we’re on ice and Motrin, but no hospital.
Here’s Kenny and Kimbo, a good friend. They’re the team’s only 12-year-olds (“7th Years”), the rest are 13-14. I’ve talked about our bigness posing problems (can’t buy clothes or shoes, can’t get child discounts–even for an 8 year old). What’s noteworthy here–and let us add a moment of tribute to Knick Jeremy Lin, as”Lin-sanity” grips Beijing as well as NY, and Kimbo’s family is also from Taiwan–is that great multisport athletes come in all sizes. Kenny is, for sure, terrific, I’m not knocking him. But Kimbo is probably the stronger athlete. Coordinated, calm, consistent–that capable player a team relies on.
You should see the kid’s spike.
Speaking of Taiwan, tomorrow we go to Xiamen for a week, the Chinese coastal city across the Strait. We’ll visit those giant, packed-earth roundhouses, tulou, clan apartment buildings thousands of years old. …Which I hear the CIA once mistook for missile silos pointed at Taiwan! Sure glad we didn’t bomb them.