Sunday, May 6, 2012

Excuse me, which way is it to Omaha ?

Where on earth is Omaha ?? I must confess I had to look it up on a map. God - its in the middle of nowhere. Who on earth wants to go to Nebraska anyway. Well, this weekend, all roads lead to Omaha, if you are a certain type who likes to make money. For its the annual jamboree of Berkshire Hathway, and one old man named Warren Buffett.

I really don't understand why anybody wants to go to that blessed event. I mean, can there be any excuse for wanting to go to Nebraska ?? For God's sake ! To listen to words of wisdom from the "Oracle of Omaha" ?? Please, spare me the thought. Warren Buffett is no sage. In any case, if the multitude that go there even care to listen to him, they wouldn't be going there in the first place. For after all, he has been saying for donkeys years , don't listen to self proclaimed sages. Don't go on tips and hunches. Do research. Invest for the long term , etc etc. Everybody goes there to get tips on investing. They haven't understood what he has been trying to tell them - don't listen to tips. Whoever said that there was a surfeit of brains in the investing community.

But I want to go to Omaha !! I wish I was there this weekend. But not to listen to the old man. Or even have the free ice cream they dish out. I want to be there for a far more important reason. I want to have a chance to challenge Ariel Hsing to a game of table tennis.

You see, Warren Buffett is an amateur table tennis (ping pong, if you prefer) player. Typical of him, he spotted a talent in Ariel Hsing, when she was 9 years old. He brought her to his annual jamboree and then challenged anybody to beat her - the winner gets a box of candy. In the six or seven years, nobody has beaten her. She is now 16 and has made the London bound US Olympic Table Tennis team. In one of those years, she thrashed Bill Gates, who is an amateur player himself - one of the few occasions when Bill Gates has been thrashed in anything. Buffett even joked that Bill Gates' manhood has taken a severe beating losing to a pre teen !!

So, attendees to the Berkshire Hathway AGM can challenge Ariel to a game. Well, I have some claims to playing a decent standard of table tennis. I rather fancy my chances. Of course, I would chivalrously lose in the end, but after giving the lovely lady a bit of a running !!

Unfortunately Bangalore to Omaha is a fair way, although the opportunity to play with a lovely lady must move a man to trek to the moon. In my younger days, sure.  Alas, with the advent of years ....... I shall therefore pass the opportunity to Gils, who is not far away - he having recently shifted to an equally obscure and godforsaken place, rather close to Omaha !

As for Ariel, good luck in London, young lady. The US team, as indeed many other teams, is entirely made of ethnic Chinese. They will soldier bravely, but really have little chance against the real thing -  China. Which other country can afford to drop the current World No 1 man and woman from their team ?? That's exactly what China has done. Perhaps not that surprising, when they also have the No2, No3, No4 and No5 !!