in China #5 - "Whipping Top" and a New Friend
I wanted to share this story.
I heard a bunch of loud *crack* sounds today, coming from the other side of this monument, which I ran into while wandering down some back streets in Shijiazhuang shooting photos. It sounded like firecrackers,
So I investigated...here's what I encountered...
There's a game in China called "whipping top" where the idea is to keep a top spinning by whipping it. These guys were whipping very heavy steel tops and that's what was making the *crack* crack* crack* I'd heard.
So out comes the camera.
The fellow in the black pants and striped t-shirt saw me taking photos and started smiling and pointing me out to his friends. Then, laughing in the friendliest way possible, he motioned to me asking if I wanted to try.
I don't have photos of me playing but it's not hard to just keep the top spinning so I had a go for about 5 minutes, this time making the wonderful (and very satisfying) *crack* sound myself, and I did OK because my teacher and his friends were clapping and laughing. I clapped back...more laughter.
I can't say it was much of a commotion, just me and a bunch of other older men doing what older men do in China...but it did attract a small and appreciative crowd (lots of pointing and chattering) that included a grandmother and a small child that had stopped to watch.
They were smiling big enough that I went over and gestured to the grandmother to see if she'd take my photo with my "whipping top" teacher and new friend. More smiles all around.
Here we are, teacher and student...
This trip was the best decision I ever made. Lives need moments like this.