Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hitting a Difference

My tennis group is now able to play on the university grounds again across from our office on Wednesdays.

I wasn't given an explanation why, but perhaps the university decided to change the rules again and allow those not affiliated with the post-secondary institution to use its sports facilities.

And to mark the occasion, last night I picked up new tennis balls in the department store across the street from where I live.

Up until now we'd been using non-descript Chinese balls that were pretty flat, some were downright dead. But, in true Chinese mainland fashion, my tennis buddies kept hitting them. I asked them about getting new balls and they even told me the company would reiumburse them for up to 200RMB worth of balls.

Since the company was paying, why not get some new balls then?

The sports section of the department store had cans of balls from Dunlop, Wilson (US Open), and Slazenger. They also had domestically-made tennis balls, which were obviously cheaper at 30RMB, but I decided to go for the second most expensive ones, the Dunlops at 48RMB. In the end I got a total of 12 balls.

Today I told my tennis buddies about the new balls and they were all excited.

One saw the price on the can and loudly complained they were so expensive.

I assured him he would play better.

But all of us were so taken aback by the hard bounce of the new balls, that we had trouble hitting them!

We had all been used to hitting those old ones around that these new ones made people like me look like quasi beginners, swinging our racquets and missing the ball, or constantly hitting it out.

Nevertheless, the verdict was the new balls were great and an incentive for them to possibly improve their strokes.

But the sad thing is, the brand new bright yellow balls have already turned a dark yellow after our 90-minute session, thanks to the dirty court.

You can't win them all.

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