In other news, I signed up for the HESS dragon boat team and had the orientation meeting last night and the first practice today. The locations are rather far, but at least I’m not coming from Keelung or Sanxia like two or three people on the team! I’m going to say that’s something like Irvine to San Diego? It should only take me an hour to get to the practices on the bus and MRT, and there are only 5 or 6 more. I think I need to go to Carrefour or Costco and buy some free weights for the weekdays, though!
The practice was pretty awesome aside from the running. We practice along an LA River-esque trickle, in the shade of some freeway overpasses. It truly looks like a place you could dump a few bodies or have a rumble with the Sharks. We stretched out and ran a very short but overwhelming distance (I didn’t walk at all and I was very pleased with myself), then sat around a huge tank of water to practice rowing. There are 20 rowers and 3 other positions, but there are about 30 people showing up to practices. This meant we had a fair amount of shuffling around the tank today, which was perfect, since even two minutes at a stretch is strenuous! The technique is nothing like canoes or kayaks, which are my only rowing experience, and involves keeping your inside arm elevated and powering the stroke from your back and stomach by twisting. The coach, a local named David, pulled me and another girl up to the front seats to demonstrate, so I’m either doing fine or wrong. I think I was the good example, but it was hard to tell.
Practice ended with running: “sprints” of at least 150 meters, guys vs. guys then girls vs. girls, with the penalty being to drink a sip from the rowing tank. That got a good laugh out of everyone, but fortunately I did well enough to not worry about it, joke though it was! Then we split into 3 teams and had a race, which my team won because we snuck off the starting line and then mobbed around the end point so the others couldn’t touch it. All is fair in love and conditioning, after all.
Now, back to the fish eye. About a third of the group decided to grab lunch, so we started walking and found a Thai place, which I wasn’t too pleased about owing to previous painful experiences, but I didn’t feel like looking for something else. Good thing, too, because it was amazing. It absolutely turned me around in my views on Thai food, and it was marvelously cheap. I spilled some sauce on my workout pants, and I’m so glad of it because now I smell like delicious food.