Planet X's Harry Wiltshire raced the first round of the World Triathlon Championships in Sydney two weeks ago. He came home and realised he didn't have enough points to be eligible for Olympic selection, so got back on the plane to China.
Harry is now Olympic eligible and has an adverse conditioned response to Chinese covers of French Canadian love songs.
The final GB slot will be decided by a complicated and long winded process that Harry tried to explain but we lost the will to live and stopped listening. In our opinion they should go paper, scissors, stone.
"The Chinese do things differently. We had a white gloved policeman every 10 meters lining the course, not just during the race, but for a day before and afterwards. I was mobbed for an autograph and photo by 100 race helpers none of whom had the slightest clue who I was.
"Stewed chicken feet classes as a hearty breakfast and it is entirely appropriate to hack up in your throat then spit a big ball of grolly. The end of every lane in swimming pools has a metal bin specifically for this purpose. If the produce is solid a particularly satisfying ping can be made.
"The girl at the swimming pool wore six inch yellow heels, a denim mini skirt and a hello kitty T-shirt. She smiled at me and said "meehow" each day when I went to the pool.
"After the race I went to the pool alone. I finished swimming but when I went to leave the building found torrential rain, the boom of thunder and forks of lightning carving the sky. The girl in the 6 inch yellow heels patted the seat next to her. She closed the door and booted up windows media player.
"Before I knew it a Chinese translation of Celine Dion's greatest hits was playing. A phone call was made and I sat awkwardly smiling and saying "shi shi" (meehow was the only other word I knew and I didn't feel this was the time for cat noises).
"It wasn't long before smiling nodding and not understanding a word 6 inch heels said became a tad awkward. I tried to whistle, I can't whistle.
"Take away noodles in broth for two arrived. She paid. The rain stopped. Stainless steel chop sticks were produced and Celine's asian alter ego was cranked up a notch.
"I can't use chop sticks, the noodles were scalding hot. Yellow heels did a cute little laugh into her hand then tried to adjust my chop sticks. It wasn't working, she tried to feed me. I looked at the noodles, she looked at me. She made more physical contact than was strictly necessary.
"I began to sweat. The Chinese equivalent of my heart will go on started to play. She smiled.
"Which is worse? Being fed noodles by a girl in six inch yellow heels and a mini skirt whilst sitting in a chinese swimming pool reception during a thunder storm or the awkwardness of refusing to do the above under the same circumstances.
"Six inch yellow heals hacked up a grolly and gobbed in the rubbish bin.
"I grabbed by pot of noodles put my lips to the cardboard and downed them. I felt the boiling water blister my tongue. I mumbled a barley comprehensible meehow when I should have chi chi'd and I bolted.
"I did not swim on my final day in China."
1 May 2012