Sunday, December 9, 2007

Corporate Games in Chinese Sauce

Competitive Sports in China is not for everybody: all the competitions are organized among "Sports School" with a calendar that is kept unknown to outsiders (the mania for secrecy is a typical trait of State Organizations here).
For the "common mortals", the only events to take part in are usually "Corporate Games" or better "Danwei" Games, organized between Organizations of any sorts (companies, universities, neighboorhoods, etc).
Last week was the week of the Corporate Games of our town, organized among the different factories of the area. For the employeed is one of the rare moments of doing something else apart from work on an assembly line. Saturday was the day of the "Long Distance Running Competition", for which I was very keen to have our factory to show up well.
The crazy thing about the race is that the first 3 runners were awarded 1000RMB each (130 USD) + minor awards up to 10th place.
This 130USD is roughly equal to 1 month salary of a worker !!!! So you can just imagine how motivated were the runners at the start of the 3500meters course.
I also wore my running shoes for the run, mainly to "got points" as a factory whose GM can also run fast (the usual General Manager here is more keen on Golf and alcohol). I was the only "gwailo" in a sea of chinese....
It was an easy win, even if the opponents were half my age but obviously with very precarious training. Our factory also scored a 3rd and a 10th for a impressive team performance.
At the end, interview (in Chinese) with the local TV and trophy presented by the Communist Party Secretary (whom i know very well and in the future he will not miss to remind me of the race).
With the 1000RMB I need now to throw a dinner for our team, otherwise I would feel morally guilty for a while ...

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