One For The Team

This is how it started. We had dived into an upmarket restaurant because the temperature was dropping fast and it was raining; we just couldn’t bear the thought of another meal with our backs to an open door, huddled around a plastic cup of hot water. We soon got chatting to the geezers at the next table and as one of them was from Guangdong we immediately switched to Cantonese, becoming a kind of majority for a change. (Three against three.) They asked us to eat with them and soon the baijiu (Chinese rice wine) started flowing. P fought against it with all his might – it really is the vilest-tasting, most headache-inducing drink in the world – but was helpless in the face of the mighty force of Chinese Aggressive Hospitality.

One thing is asking people for a sip of wine or two, but Chinese Aggressive Hospitality decrees that there must be one ‘bottoms up!’ every 25 seconds. With the expected result.

That morning I had been on a walk and come across some leisurely swimmers on the freezing river bank. Well, not exactly freezing. They said it was 3 degrees but that was a big fat lie.
It was at least 5.

When I told P about this, a kind of madness overtook him, and he decided to play ‘Hound Dog’ (yes, electric guitar and amplifier; we’ve been busking our way through the province but more about that later) naked on that river bank and jump in afterwards. With the added bonus of a terrible baijiu hangover there was no way he could not do it, really.


He really took one for the team – well, two as I also filmed it. So you see, if he can do that, you too can learn Cantonese in 2013! AND: learning Cantonese, unlike swimming in a black and torpid river in close to zero temperatures, is completely fun, pleasurable and painless. Happy 2013, make it a Canto year!

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9 Responses to One For The Team

  1. LITMK says:

    Madness! You’re back in Hong Kong now? When can we expect the next film?

  2. Øystein says:

    Dæffen. Næggu om æ fær jorda rundt for å plask i tregradersvatten så læng Hurtigruta pløye isvatnet rætt inn på Trollakysten så taretangen og døvvmåsan spjære både oinnerboks og knæhasa. Det bli både kantonesisk og mandarin heilt automatisk læng før skankan smadres mot rurberget, og gjerne både indoeuropeisk og sanskrit oppigjennom hårnålsvingan. Æ bor på toppen da sjø. Med ælg og gaupe i hagen. Besøk forventes og forlanges.

  3. cecilie says:

    OK! Så jeg deg ikke nettopp nedgravd i isvann på Island???

  4. Reuben says:

    Can I come with you into China? And make Canto movies?! ^^

  5. Beijing says:

    I like the photo swim in winter lake. I always want to swim in winter but each time after summer, the lake water is too cold that can not swim.

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