And just like that, another month as gone by without a word. I’m used to time flying by… the busy-ness never stops for me. But usually, at the end of the month, I feel exhausted and yet somewhat unaccomplished – as if I achieved absolutely nothing. This month, I can actually say I did a lot with something to show for it.

First of all, there was this basketball tournament that our company team enrolled in. It’s been a long while since I’ve had the chance to play on an all-women’s team (as the girls in Hong Kong aren’t typically the active type), so even though basketball isn’t my main sport, I was quite excited to jump into the team.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this basketball team in the beginning. The so-called ‘teams’ that I play with in Hong Kong aren’t so much teams, but more like ‘groups of people that get together to play soccer if they have time’. It means that they don’t have a set group of 20 people that practice together. Instead, they have a Whatsapp group of probably 50 or 60 people, and they schedule games on whatever day they can get a pitch. Then, they send a message out to the Whatsapp group as an open invitation; whoever is free can come. On one hand, its a good way to stay active and have fun. The scores don’t matter (although it doesn’t make it any less competitive). But I really enjoyed the ‘team’ aspect of having a team. Getting used to each other’s playing styles. Knowing where my teammate will be before she even gets there. Teamwork that takes more than simply being a ‘team player’ – you have to practice for it.

When this basketball team started, it wasn’t much different from those casual playing soccer teams. In fact, perhaps it was even worse, because most of the girls are flight attendants, and it is almost impossible to coordinate our schedules to get a good time to even scrimmage. We were quite blessed to have a good leader that was really passionate for basketball. She fought for our privileges, and we were able to get 2 days off every month to practice together, as well as days off for game days. We had girls that asked their friends if they would be willing to help coach us, and we ended up with a good coach – one that is completely merciless when he yells at us, even if we are a bunch of girls. And slowly, I found myself more and more committed to this team. I went from choosing soccer over basketball, to choosing basketball over soccer.

Our tournament was hosted by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong, and any registered corporations can compete in this tournament. However, you must be an employee of the corporation to be allowed to play on the team. We won our first two round-robin games, which lead us to the quarterfinals. That quarterfinal match was an intense one. We were a bit too proud in the beginning, because we had won that team previously, and we thought that we would easily be the better team. We ended up trailing for most of the match. The honest truth is though, we didn’t differ that much in ability; we just couldn’t get ourselves fired up to work harder. In the second half, we caught up point by point, until we finally took the lead with only 34 seconds left. That was the biggest basketball win I have ever experienced, and the excitement and exhilaration cannot be described in simple words.

At halftime, we were still behind by 11 points.

Our excited group hug after the final buzzer rang.

After that, we went on to the semi-finals. Out of the four semifinalist teams, we all knew that we were the weakest link. Nevertheless, we tried our hardest, and ended up in 4th place after last week’s 3rd place match. I didn’t expect us to even place, so 4th out of 12 teams is quite a feat for me. Also, 3 of the 5 games took place in October, so that made it quite a hectic month for me! But in the end, I have a medal to take home, and for once, I feel like my busy-ness doesn’t go in vain.

The other thing on my mind was, of course, my exams. Just like every other month. What makes this month different is that this exam is (hopefully) my last! I’m still waiting for results from my essay exam that I took last month, but if all goes well, I never have to study in my life again.

(I know completely well I’m saying that way too soon. I thought I was done with studying after university, little did I know…)

So yes, those two things (and the two big check marks next to those items) are finally done with, and now I can start thinking about my favourite time of the year. Christmas!

As for work, I’m still with the same team and I won’t be moving until at least January. I’ll just continue watching my sunrises.

PS. If you missed it on Instagram, here’s my newly caught Pikachu:

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