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When The Going Gets Tough, Everyone Gets A Baby Tiger

by Jesse D. Eisenberg / New York Islanders

As the PAL Jr. Islanders tour through China entered its sixth day, two phrases had come to play crucial roles in the trip’s ongoing success.


The first was “sticky rice.” As in, “approximately 20,000 other people also thought today would be a good day to visit Tiananmen Square (Pictures Here), so when we get out of this tour bus, we’re going to be tighter than sticky rice.” (It turns out there are a lot of metaphors involving rice in China.)

The second phrase amounts to “go with it – you’re in China.” Is there a head still attached to your dinner? Give it a shot. Did the Chinese dignitary pour the parents another glass of that 100-proof rice spirit? Bottoms up ("Gom bui" translates to "dry the cup").

After six days of flights, sticky rice (both literal and figurative) and general culture shock, the Peewees and Bantams were eager to get back into their element on the ice in Harbin. The chatter on the busses and in the hotels shifted from scorpions on a stick to X’s and O’s. 

So when the team’s equipment was delayed in transit from Beijing to Harbin and the first practice and game were postponed a full day, the team successfully “went with it” and found another only-in-China experience. They just couldn’t "sticky rice” any more.

An impromptu trip to Harbin’s famous Tiger Park followed by a pizza lunch may not have completely made up for a lost day at the rink, but holding a four-day old tiger cub certainly helped.

Click The Image For A Full Gallery From The Tiger Zoo.


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