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Thread: Better than Chinese food

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Xingping, Shaanxi Province, China
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    Better than Chinese food

    Since my electric was shut off this morning and early afternoon, I couldn't cook lunch or have a hot shower. In the absence of eating or being able to get cleaned up to go out for lunch, I grabbed my ball hockey stick and went to my apartment complex's playground which consists of a flat tile bit used for badminton and some playground equipment that looks conspicuously like a military training apparatus. Fortunately, nobody was there but then some local kids saw me, one of the very few foreigners in town, and thought I was playing golf. Word spread and eventually there were about ten kids.

    In the end, they didn't get to practice their ping-pong but they enjoyed taking turns shooting the ball at each other. But at least I didn't have to eat chicken feet - complete, literally, with bones and claws! Next time I go out, I'll bring my spare and wife's sticks. Its just a shame those kids won't be able to buy their own sticks here.
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

    I'm the hole formerly known as KazakhEagles

  2. #2
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    You need to build a goal!

  3. #3
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Two and a half years on and almost, but not quite, some momentum.

    The undersized (a third?) mall rink in Xi'an was taken over earlier in the year by Century Star, a business running over 20 rinks across the country with a majority of those also in shopping malls. In June they shut down for a month to reconstruct the entire place, this included a skate sharpener (which wasn't mounted level), new rental skates, toilets (but neither dressing rooms nor showers), and repainting the ice surface - now with blue lines, faceoff dots and undersized goal creases.

    Somewhat unexpectedly, this included the hiring of a hockey manager and hockey coach. Luckily for me, they welcomed the idea of having me bring my sticks to scrimmage on afternoons with no business. Because it's a mall, sometimes by-passers stop to watch. All of us on IHF know we have to sell the game, so I frequently tap the glass with my stick or wave at kids. I thew myself into the boards once and scared the out of some woman - hey, it's hockey. Heads up!

    While they have advertising for hockey lessons, they don't seem to have had much success with it. Since a month or two ago, they have at least one student, a gal in her early 20's. That might be why some more of the male staff will join out shoot arounds. Local schools were closed due to smog earlier this week, ruining our hockey (the woman and I just passed to each other) as kids skated all over. One youngster skated closer than the others for a few times. Eventually he went off the ice as several others did but unlike them, he came back - having ditched his figure skate rentals for CCMs. He went 'round a few times and must have managed to convince skate rental to give him one of the sticks in the back.

    We ended up having a nice little triangle passing session for half an hour until the two adults had to go. I think he was mega excited about the whole thing because he followed us off, pointing to my gloves and then his skates, proudly saying "CCM." Hopefully he will brag to his friends about the fun he had playing hockey and get himself (and his buddies) into the lessons.
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

    I'm the hole formerly known as KazakhEagles

  4. #4
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Still having to play in a mall but rumor has it Shaanxi province will finally get a rink (or arena?) in October. Hopefully that happens before we get get in trouble .

    The undersized ice pad currently in use is on the 6th floor of a mall and in the past two weeks, they've finally put a net on the goal frames. Of course, we'll shoot at it! One misguided puck managed to hit the top of the end boards and ricochet over the glass and out of sight. One of our guys put his skate guards on and went to fetch it. It took a suspiciously long time but eventually he finally found it on the first floor! It's only a matter of time before we get shut down for this. Two weeks ago, the arcade had to keep bringing our pucks back...
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

    I'm the hole formerly known as KazakhEagles

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