Friday, March 14, 2008

First Leg of the Adventure

The Korean Tour is co-sanctioning an event with the Asian and European Tours this week in Korea: The Balentine Championship. The Korean Tour's top players were given exemptions into the event, the majority of whom will travel to Shanghai to play in my debut event. It will be a great opportunity to dive into the pool without dipping a toe.

I've spent all day traveling today. This morning to Taipei Airport for a flight to Hong Kong. All afternoon I have run around and waited in Hong Kong in an effort get an expedited visa for China. Hong Kong is an international hub for activity. If you thought the line for a Disneyland ride was long, you haven't had the discomfort of the hour immigration line to get out of Hong Kong International Airport. People are so skilled with language here it is astonishing. As I have spent the last few months learning mandarin with little success, the majoirty of people I have spoken to today speak mandarin, cantonese and english at some level. It is impressive to say the least.

As I peered out the window of the plane when we were touching down, I caught a glimpse of a course on the ocean with a towering, jagged, picturesque mountain in the background. It was quite a sight and the urge to tee it up surged through my golf muscles. Unfortuately, I had to leave it out of the itinerary today so that I can include it in my comming week's itinerary: a strange matter of priorities.

My tournament sequence of events is a very different experience than any I've had in the states. It's an adventure to get to tournaments. Air travel, immigration and language barriers make getting in the tournament site's vacinity challenging: it probes your patience and stamina. Then, getting to the hotels and tournament sites when you might as well be on a different planet and then have to negotiate a price with cab drivers looking to make a fast score, hardens you. It has to. Otherwise, as Tin Cup would say, you end up flat, broke and busted.

I'll continue to report as this week's adventure unfolds. My flight to Shanghai is late tonight and if all goes somewhat smoothly, I'll find myself dreaming by 01:30 this morning.

Keeping you updated on the journey,

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