The outdoor Ping Pong tables have finally been replaced. Now instead of 8 tables there are 14, inviting more people to play without having to stand in line. It has been nice to play there, but every time I went out I had to wonder: "What's with this fence?" At first it didn't seem to be a problem because the gate was wide open. Today, an official holiday in China, the gate was shut and locked. It prompts all sorts of questions:
1. Are they locking the gate to keep the tables from being stolen?
2. Are they worried that people will play too late?
3. Is there even a real reason for this?
I will pursue these questions further during this semester. It seems that stolen tables is highly unlikely, given they are bolted down. The worry that students will play too late is unfounded because there is inadequate light to support a game. The final question probably leads more to the truth. Someone, somewhere, has made a decision. Whether that decision was based on reason or not is entirely unclear. Perhaps there was some money allocated for the Ping Pong reconstruction and it was not entirely used. The extra money was then spent on a fence so that all of the money could be used. This is based on reason, though it doesn't seem very fiscally responsible.
Instead of building a fence, why not install four tall lampposts to provide light throughout the courts? I could play all night.
What do you think? Why have they installed the fence?