Monday, August 11, 2008

Playing Tennis in Algiers

I began playing tennis in Algiers at Unite Golf Club at Cheraga.

It was a weekend Friday so there was no work.

I haven't played tennis for years. The last time I picked up a real tennis racket, it was during a physical education during junior college years. Although, I "practiced" some tennis moves on a Wii in my colleague's Beirut apartment occasionally.

In reality, I have no inkling about tennis, other than Sharapova is really eye candy. In the words of one team-mate, Pablo, we pretend to play.

It is an understatement because Pablo is one of the best players among us. Or perhaps the rest of us really sucked?

After several games, I do realize that I'm have a consistent form when it comes to hitting the net, hitting the ball out of court or failing to hit the ball at all.

My failure rate to hit the ball was more pronounced when I was on the receiving end of service from Mike, our number 2 player, who incidently is an excellent badminton player who had done some coaching in Japan, and therefore, doubtlessly, packs a powerful serve.

Then there are our two Japanese team-mates, Terada and Tsuchiya. Terada is reportedly an excellent baseball player, which explained his donning of baseball attire even when he was playing tennis.

Terada also has a real talent for humour. Once, he mimicked the throwing style of famous Japanese players. Unfortunately, I'm clueless when it comes to baseball or the game's famous personalities. But he looked really funny so the humour was not lost.

Tsuchiya san is really a nice team-mate to have. Among the team, he and I had been in Algeria the longest. Super nice guy with a good sense of humour. The Algerians also never forget his name once they were introduce to him, because his family name is similarly sounding to an Algerian traditional musical instrument.

Encouragingly, my gym sessions in Beirut were beginning to pay off. After running after balls that I failed to hit (it happened a lot!), I was able to maintain some level of fitness. Yey, me and gym membership!

Interestingly, the tennis courts at the golf course don't come with electric lighting. As evening approaches, we found that we could not see the ball very well anymore and have to stop the game. No offense but is this really a golf club?!

After tennis, it was a spicy Thai dinner at the newly opened Bangkok Thai branch near Deli Ibrahim.

The following are some pictures:

I was invited by Mike (Thu san) to his guesthouse for lunch. It was curry chicken and fried eggs, nicely concluded with a delicious melon and Hagen Daaz! I simply right the watermelons in Algeria. The sweetest!

Unite Golf Club @ Cheraga, Algiers

Front entrance
Part of the club house and restaurant

Doing our warmups
Pablo (left) and Terada (right) in his baseball attire
Mike (left) is our badminton expert and Tsuchiya (right) is named after a musical instrument.

*This entry is post-dated to 3 Aug '08, as I didn't have internet access to upload. Incidentally, this is my last visit to Algeria.