September 30th, 2003

The echoes of gunshots are ringing in my ears.

Fortunately, it's only Counter-Strike, the well-known first person shooter game. Boy, there's a lot of gunfire here in this internet cafe.

What's surreal about this is that I'm surrounded by native Mandarin-speakers, who seem to make up most of the players. There are also some local Botswanans here. I don't know if they're playing, too, but if they are they're wildly outnumbered by the Chinese? Singaporeans? Taiwanese? Who knows.

Counter-Strike seems to be pretty popular in Southern Africa. The first internet cafe I walked into in Cape Town sounded like a firefight, too, also because of Counter-Strike.

The game always brings back memories of Chris, Julian, et. al. in a network games arcade in Singapore trying a Counter-Strike knife fight, and Julian reverting to reflexes in the heat of battle, pulling a pistol and opening fire. Everyone else screamed "Hey! No guns!" but he'd already shot his opponent. Alas.