Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ball boys - São Paulo

Today I returned to tennis lessons after more than a year off. I had been on the waitlist all of last year and with our club soaring in popularity, a place never opened up. I missed all of the classes in February so far because of the heat--the gringa just melts on the red clay courts.

I pay around US$200 for a month of classes. We have four women total in the class plus our usual teacher who is Summo. Summo was my teacher two years ago as well--his name is perfect for him as he is a big bear of a guy, though he does remain quite more clothed than the white-panted guys. Or is that lack-of-panted guys. He is less of a bear now--he was very sick at the beginning of the year and just returned to teaching. He's at least 20 pounds lighter.

My favorite part of tennis at the club? Okay, there are two things. No, three. Summo, of course who is a funny mix of humor and pressure to do better. The second is the awesome red clay court--having grown up with hard courts I have really enjoyed the sliding skidding fun of a clay court. And three, the ball boys. 

Along with my $200 a month which goes to the club and the professor, I pay $10US per month for a ball boy to pick up all the tennis balls. I have never in my life had the luxury of a ball boy except at this club. These kids are all around 17-18 years old, gangly, skinny, polite, all working during the day to make money to go to high school at night. They're universally happy to be there. I'm universally happy to see them there. 

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