Sunday, September 05, 2004

Watched a documentary on Hong Kong's dim sum on Discovery Channel last night which made me hungry. So this morning's breakfast we settled for an el cheapo coffee shop version downstairs of our flat. I must have a peasant's taste for dim sum as I find the expensive, restaurant version too rich (read "oily") and fanciful for my blood. According to the documentary, our breakfast menu comprised a "large chicken bun," "prawn dumplings," "steam-and-sell (a rough translation of siew-mai)," and some other standard things that didn't feature in the programme. We were too full to face lunch after that.

Yan had gone home so I decided not to bother her after all. That left 2 things to do today: go watch the petanque international at Toa Payoh's petanque courts and the SAF Open House at SAFTI.

Anthony and Weng had gone through a lot of trouble organizing the tournament, so I thought I'd go lend them my support. Weng and one of the team's youngest instructors -- a Sec 1 kid with a seriously aggressive playing style -- taught me the basics of the game while Anthony warmed up for his match against Australia.

Concept is simple enough: each player has 3 metal boules (balls) and the idea is to throw the balls to land as close to the target ball (the jack) as possible. When all the players have exhausted all their throws the player who has the nearest ball to the jack gains the point and a new round begins.

Players have to decide how to make the best use of their throws to ensure that their boule is closer to the jack than their opponents' at the end of the round. Players can simply throw their boule to land as close as possible to the jack (pointing) or they can knock their opponents' boules away from the jack with their throw (shooting). That's about the sum of what I learned today. Maybe I'll attend a couple of training sessions next week to see if I can be any good at this game.

We left before Anthony finished his game against the Aussies. We sat and watched for what felt like an hour and the score was 5-2 in favour of Oz at the time. They were going to keep playing to 13 points, and we decided we couldn't wait that long. Wonder who won? I believe the match was for 3rd placing in the secondary tourney.

The weather turned nasty on us so SAFTI will have to wait until next year for our visit.

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