Friday, October 7, 2011

One ballin Weekend

        On my last weekend before my big trip, I was blessed with an overload of American Basketball. In a promotional tour for their newly opened campus in China, Duke University toured China playing exhibition games Vs Chinese Teams. One of their games was held in Shanghai. I met up with my friend Ralph and we were able to scalp tickets to the game. We got great seats that were 3 rows back from the court, but was behind all the press. As we sat down, we were surprised to see another one of our friends Rob,  which made for a good time. Duke played the Chinese National team, which sounds like an exciting match up filled with quality basketball, but in reality it was as sloppy as a 6th grade girls basketball game. The game was fun but the highlight of the night was getting to shake hands with former Duke great and NBA star Grant Hill.
Grant Hill

             After the game, I was reminded why I enjoy China, because you never know what to expect. As people mobbed their way into the subway after the game, one lady thought it was necessary to push and shove on the way out of the metro, which was uncalled for. As  waited for the door to open, she pushed me out of the way to get a better position to exit, rather than waiting her turn. I  clear my throat with a cough, in a excuse me kind of fashion to which she started hissing at me  like a cat with an evil glare on her face. Yes, I said it, a grown up woman hissing at me. As we exited the subway and made our way to the next transfer, she continued to hiss at me until I started  barking like a dog back at her. If only the basketball game was as entertaining as this lady, my night would have been complete.
            Having finished my lease in my apartment, I had to  move out a few days before I took off for my trip. Since I have been homeless, I have been crashing at Mike’s place. I’ve realized that being homeless is one of the most horrible feelings as I slept on the floor and had to work around his schedule to be let into his apartment. For future reference, I hope I never have to do this again for an extended period of time.
            To top off the weekend I had a spur of the moment busy day which included going to breakfast with 3 of  my classmates, Jenny, Paullette and Sherry. From there went to the graffiti wall that has the famous “Shanghai” graffiti, that  has been on our to do lists all year .

          Next stop was the Nike festival at Shanghai Indoor Stadium, which is a sports facility that Nike has taken over and sponsored which features nice basketball courts, soccer fields and a smaller area used for volleyball and other sports. To promote this renovation and gain exposure, Nike created this weekend event that was highlighted with multiple exhibition basketball games and guest appearances by NBA Stars who are sponsored by Nike including Lebron James. On the day I went I was able to see  Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, Kyrie Irving ,Portland’s finest, Lamarcus Aldridge and  shook hands with Amare Stoudemire. The marquee match up was the college team Georgetown Hoyas vs.  The Chinese Basketball Association’s Bayi Rockets, but after a brawl during their game in Beijing,  a few days earlier, they played  the Jiangsu Dragons  another CBA team.

Teams Exchanging gifts
Group Photo after the Game
Georgetown Coach John Thompson III

        After watching what felt like a want to be Rucker park match up, I walked the wrong way and was amongst the large entourage of George town players  staff and family who were being escorted out by security as they as they were overwhelmed with the Chinese fans. It was a pretty fun experience as I was able to speak with some of the players and  I felt like a somewhat celebrity as people pushed their way to take photos of us and were asking for autographs. It was amazing to see how persistent and over the top some of these Chinese fans were for autographs and pictures. One of the Georgetown assistant couches was mistaken as a former NBA player and people bombarded him with photos and autographs, blocking his way and causing him to get lose track of the rest of the Georgetown team.
The "famous" Georgetown Assistant Basketball Coach

          To complete the day,  I met up with Jill and her mom, who made a last minute, spur of the moment trip to visit her and travel around china with a  couple of her friends. As expected, Jill’s mom was just as sweet as her.

Life Comes Quick

      Rewind 2 months ago and I was unsure of what my next move in life would be. Set on coming back to the states, I decided to test my luck with jobs in China and applied for jobs in the masses for the satisfaction of knowing I tried. For weeks I applied for jobs without any replies until suddenly, one day I heard back from 3 companies, two of which sounded interesting enough to set up an interview. Having the mind set that I would  return home after my contract was up in August, I sent almost all of my belongings home including all of my dress clothes, keeping only a only a few things I was going to travel with and things I would leave behind.Scambling to find clothes, but not wanting to buy new clothes, I  scrounged up an outfit that would be presentable for an interview. I had one dress shirt that was going to leave behind  that I used and  borrowed a tie from my roommate Mike, and then found a pair of slacks and dress shoes that  my roommate Miles left behind that I was able to squeeze into. I managed to impress one of the people in my mess of an outfit to get a call back for another interview with a senior partner from Austen Morris, a financial firm that work solely with expats. This interview though would require a “formal” business attire so unfortunately I had to buy a new suit. With that being said, it all paid off and I received and accepted the job at Austen Morris as a Business Development Coordinator  for the firm and start on Oct 10.  It is amazing to think that within a 2 week gap my life plans took a complete 180 turn.Although I’m not exactly sure how I will fare at this job, it will provide me with hands on experience that would be hard to receive in the states. So,for time being,  I guess i'll be in China for a little bit longer.