Posts Tagged ‘table tennis’

Spring has Almost Sprung

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Paris is currently preparing itself for the arrival of Spring. Today was a particularly beautiful day with temperatures reaching a whole 11 degrees! It felt warmer though with the sun shining and people starting to remove layers of clothing. Tom and I made the most of the good weather by playing some table tennis on one of the tables next to the canal. As we arrived at our usual spot, one of the two tables was taken and the other was being guarded by a sunglass-ed man. He clearly wasn’t about to play table tennis so Tom and I took it and played a game with the guy sitting on the bench less than a metre away. At one point I took off my jacket and placed it on the bench next to him as it was the only clean surface available. He barely flinched. He eventually stood up and walked off, much to my relief as I was worried I was going to accidentally whack the ball into his face.

It wasn’t until Tom and I were heading home and we walked out of the park that I realised this guy wasn’t just a keen table tennis viewer. He hadn’t gone home, he was hanging around the park, still wearing his sunglasses and a very ‘natural’ look on his face. Our epic sporting feats had clearly disturbed his usual drug-selling techniques and we had infiltrated his zone. Clearly I am getting to know my neighbours better.

Meanwhile, you’ll be pleased to hear that I beat Tom in the first match, and he won the second. And we avoided hitting the ball into the canal.

Anyone For Table Tennis?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Autumn has arrived in Paris with the trees shedding their leaves at rapid speed. However, the past week has also seen beautiful warm weather – perfect conditions for spending the day outside. A recent visit to GoSport (an awful store selling all your sporting needs) saw Tom and I investing in a table tennis set. We didn’t just choose the cheapest option either – we went for the ultimate in table tennis brands, Dunlop.

There are lots of table tennis tables spread throughout the city in local parks and along the canal, and they are in high demand on a sunny Sunday afternoon. But if you’re lucky enough to score one then much fun can be had. Ben, Tom and I took our new set out for a spin the other Sunday at a table situated next to a lock on the canal and underneath some beautiful chestnut trees. We encountered a few potential dangers – the table wasn’t in the greatest condition and appears to also be used as a beer table, drug exchange hangout and a homeless-person’s bed; the canal/lock was right next to us and any mishit balls would end up in the water (this happened twice); and the chestnut seeds are currently in the habit of bursting open and dropping large cannonball chestnuts onto our heads. They hurt! Trust me.

Table tennis

Table tennis by the canal

We struggled on despite these dangers and discovered a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. This last Saturday, Tom and I headed back out to have a hit and had to walk up and down the canal for over half an hour in order to find a table. There are clearly dedicated table-tennis-ers who concentrate on their game play, as well as families out enjoying themselves, and groups of friends drinking beer and having a friendly game. I think as the weather cools down there will be less competition for the tables but we will also freeze to death playing next to open water. That’s the life of a pro table tennis player.