Monday, November 17, 2008
I've gotten some news about Ann Strother's stay in Beijing through a secondary source. I'll share some of what I've learned with you about how well Strother is doing in China. All reports tell me she's quite happy.
Right now, Strother is staying at an army base hotel, a small hotel with small rooms that have slate-like twin beds. There is a TV, and a shower stall without a tub attachement.
She states that the game is "much faster than I expected" and "they play with so much intensity and movement". Her teammates are welcoming even thought they don't know much English. The teammates that want to improve their English skills spend a lot of time with Strother.
Strother has had to face some culinary challenges. One of them was eating a twenty-year old fish which her hosts considered a delicacy. Of course, Strother tried it - I don't believe she's ever turned away from a challenge - and then was faced with plucked sparrow (head still attached) and crab innards.
Top this off with chopsticks being the only silverware - there were no knives or forks - and with wine that was "vodka times ten" according to Strother. However, Strother knows how to use chopsticks. She came out on top and mastered a new cuisine, or at least is on her way.
Storther states that her assistant coach - who self-identifies by the name of "Ding Dong" - is good friends with the owner of the Jiangsu club. Therefore, when she was there, coach and owner ingaged in a drinking contest. Everyone has their own shot glass and the custom in Jiangsu is to thank the owner for his hospitality and challenge him in downing the shot of superfortified wine. After about five glasses of this, both the coach and the owner had red faces...and after that, conversation comes easy...!
P. S. Some minor corrections added.