Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eat Kimchi a.k.a. B-ball at Wah Fu Estate

I'm still working on the movie. It's coming along somewhat slowly. In the meantime, to unwind a bit, I've also begun easing back into playing ball. I've been unable to play for 4+ months due to a really bad ankle sprain from back in August.

I played last Sunday morning and again this morning. My ankle still doesn't feel 100%, and I can't jump as well as before--which isn't saying much 'cuz I could never really jump high to begin with. I was the shortest guy on my high school team, but also the slowest and the one with the least ups.

Whatever the case, it was great to play again and to return to what had been a regular game for me before my injury. The same group of regulars, who range in age from early 20s to mid 50s, was there. And they were glad to see me back. It's always a good feeling to be welcomed back to a place.

Playing ball in Hong Kong has been great fun and one of the few ways to really feel a sense of belonging with the local people. I like these guys at Wah Fu so much more than the stuffed shirt types I meet elsewhere all over Hong Kong.

The style of play may be different, but basketball is basketball. It also gives me a good chance to practice speaking the Wah. I can still only say very basic things, and my tones are usually wrong, but I'm getting more comfortable and confident about speaking, which is always a good first step.

As for my jumpshot, it's pretty much shot after my long hiatus. But I can still get by with a lot of fakes and totally anachronistic spin moves that I picked up as a kid from oldtimers at my home court back in Jackson Heights. God, I sometimes miss playing ball back in NY so much...

Anyway, I hope this video gives you a sense of some of the antics that make playing ball in Hong Kong fun, a lot of which is the off-court shenanigans. I know it's juvenile male bonding stuff, but there's something to be said about that. It's why I'd rather play ball any day than just go to the gym.

**NOTE: I've fixed the English subtitles on the clip. There was a portion I couldn't understand, but a very helpful and informed reader (thank you!) filled me in on what one guy was actually saying: "Cheating is allowed..."

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is likely a universal truth that applies to all oldtimer games be they in Harlem, Hong Kong, or Honduras... **

***I'm not sure why the Comment link below doesn't work. If you really want to write a comment, please click the individual link for this post under the BLOG ARCHIVE on the right-hand column (you need to scroll down a tad). It will take you to another page for this post, in which the Comment function works. I have no idea what this glitch is about.... Sorry.***


Anonymous said...

fancy a game now i am in HK?

mao365 said...

Timing's a little bad.

I'm gonna be out of town for a few weeks starting this weekend.

Maybe in February.

Where in HK did you settle?

Anonymous said...

up in Tin Shui Wai but i frequent the island often.

mao365 said...


You have an open invitation to come play on Sunday mornings starting in February, but I'm afraid the games are at 9 in the morning at Wah Fu Estate, which is in southwest HK island and about 1.5+ hours from Tin Shui Wai...

I might be playing over in Kowloon starting in April... I'll let you know if that happens.


Anonymous said...

no worries, i'll be there :-)