My time in China is quickly draining, and my friends here are realizing it. My neighbors tried to book me, Ryan, and Bethany for dinner and the date I had to tell them was Friday, June 18. My meals are quickly being booked up and all the guys I have told I’d like to play basketball with are cashing in their rain checks. On Saturday, I played baseball with Koreans in the morning (I batted .1000, by the way) and played basketball with Chinese students at night. Two times in the last four days I’ve been set up with boys to play basketball with by mutual acquaintances. Today a Finance professor named Mr. Wong asked me to play with some of his students. On Friday my student, Sunny, asked me to meet her at the playground so her classmates, who I’d never met, could play with me. It will be a rude awakening playing basketball in the States; I won’t be able to just park in the paint and own it. But now at least I know what it’s like to be Yao Ming… by living in China, I mean. I’ll never know what it’s like to be 7’6″.
The Saturday basketball game was after a going-away party my students threw for me. I have taught these 2 classes for 3 semesters now and I’ll probably miss them more than any of my other classes. So, to celebrate our friendship, my students reserved a corner of the cafeteria, brought a laptop, a microphone, an amp, a slew of wooden rollers and dough, so that we could all make dumplings together while doing KTV (karaoke, Chinese style) in the background. I opened the party by singing the only Chinese song I know, 朋友 (pengyou-friend). The classes are 95% girls and the 10 boys all sat by themselves near the computer, eating nuts and drinking beer, which they bought at the cafeteria. So, I forced them to let the girls teach them how to make dumplings, something I love to do and hope to take back home with me. Inevitably, the party turned into a flour-fight.