LAST WEEK’S RECAP | August 5 – 11, 2013

A player from Red Bank is visiting her grandparents’ native Italy at the end of the month. Jokingly I asked about the pinching. She said that it’s no longer true (I forgot why), although she and her sister spent many summers there growing up, but would walk against walls in the beginning. Their grandmother warded off the pinching men, who became afraid of this tough little old lady. I saw some pictures of Lake Como, where George Clooney has or had his home, and pictures of a ceremony in honor of one of her relatives, a war hero, all very beautiful and some historic.

A player from Clifton has been playing here quite a while and finally introduced his cousin from Wyckoff to the group this week. She really enjoyed her first time playing and meeting different people. It was a great introduction.

The Clifton player’s wife and I enjoy watching everyone each week and getting to know each other. A month ago I put her up to answer the phone when my partner Dwight calls me. He was speechless the first time he heard a woman answer in fluent Spanish – “Con quien deseas conversar?” I too was impressed. She and her husband were born in Asia and later immigrated to Peru since they were little kids before finally moving to America. (They met in Toronto.) Interestingly, Peru has the largest Asian population in South America and one of Peru’s past President, Alberto Fujimori was Japanese.

So, be careful saying any “indeseable” things in Spanish around Asians at the Friday parties, for they might answer back in polite Spanish. 🙂

Before leaving, the Clifton player who’s a pediatrician, the Butler player who holds a degree in pharmacy and the Jersey City player a degree in chemistry shed some light for the laymen about the difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen. After hearing all that, I’m glad I didn’t know it before and that I don’t need them as much now.

A player from Cliffside Park made a living as an actuary and always read the NY Times during the hour off at the busy winter parties. He can actually do the NY Times crossword puzzles, wow! He tells me that I shouldn’t be as surprised as I was about the background of 2 players. One moved from Ohio to NJ after graduating from Rutgers and now lives in Tenafly. The other (a newcomer tonight) grew up in Tenafly, lived a year or so in Ohio and now lives in Rockland County (Nyack, I think), just a few reverse coincidences. He said that this area has so much diversity, but somehow I just can’t stop being amazed each time I encounter it.

A player from Paramus was born in Transylvania, speaks fluent Hungarian, Romanian, German, English and a little Italian. A player from Edgewater was born in Hungary, moved to France when he was very young, grew up in Venezuela and moved to America at 16, speaks only Hungarian, Spanish and English, that I know of. They met here at the parties.

The Paramus and the Edgewater players during the hour off were talking about some places they have seen. Vermont and New Hampshire came up. So, I pointed out to the player on the court – he’s from New Hampshire. The Edgewater said – “So? I’m from NJ.” Well, it turns out later that the New Hampshire player, who also lived in San Francisco before moving recently to North Bergen, lived in or near Loon, New Hampshire the ski resort. The Paramus player said that back in the 80’s he almost bought a condo there. The New Hampshire player said his dad was (and maybe is still) a realtor (amongst other professions, which I will tell another day) who sold that property. He mentioned other pretty lakes worth seeing, which I asked him to spell out for me on a little space I had left on my sheet. He said you will need more space than that and he was right – Winnipesaukee Lake and Winnisquam Lake. I can write very small letters!

The Paramus player is off to South Carolina with his family next week, though he’s done so many international trips in the 7 years that I’ve known him, more than I can count on two hands.

The Edgewater player travels frequently as well.

The Thai Blond and Blue Brit (with dual citizenship) who speaks fluent Dutch, German, French, English and some Italian has returned from her month-long Australia trip and leaving again for Baltimore and Bermuda next week. At least we’ll get to briefly catch up with her at this Sunday tennis party.

After hearing about the places to visit, I’m so looking forward to Dwight and my next trip, though locally for now, right after Labor Day. If I were to hear about trips from all the players in the group, I wouldn’t have enough time to run parties. Hopefully, in near time, we will be able to start visiting even a quarter of the very long list of places!

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