April-May 2013, Beijing – Senior Citizens & Musclemen

BeijingOne sunny afternoon, we were taken to this place (华声天桥, as how I read it) with no idea of what awaited us. Until we saw these…

BeijingBeijingBeijing…and I went, “oh, great, old people in costumes and garb”. It all screamed of CULTURAL SHOW, which didn’t disappoint me, but didn’t excite me either.

BeijingBeijingSoon, we were inside this stuffy theatre-like room, and asked to take our seats. And it begins!

BeijingBeijingBeijingSo… yeah. Some of them rolled on the floor and did minor acrobatics that would have broken some bones or sprained something in an ordinary senior citizen, but the fact that they emerged the same way as they were before is already good enough. Again, not to be the killjoy in this room or anything, though, but it didn’t excite me as I expected it to. Another thing that I found funny was that they looked out of practice, so this must be something that hasn’t been around for a long time. They kept looking at each other for cues and giving each other nudges to do this and that – classical senior moments. 😀

BeijingSee what I mean?

BeijingBeijingBeijingBeijingWe had a short break after the senior citizens, and came back to witness something a show that was one part exciting, three parts hilarious (and not in a good way)…

BeijingPresenting… the chief muscleman. Oh yes, he takes on this stance frequently throughout the show, like a proud little peacock showing something off. Anywaaay.

BeijingBeijingWhat you have just seen is a giant pole that supposedly weighs tons. I say supposedly because although they don’t prevent us from carrying the thing, we never bothered to validate the claim as well. Grain of salt, everybody. So their show mainly comprised of carrying that pole with certain parts of the body and doing certain tricks with it. First up – the hands.

BeijingBeijingBeijing…forehead…

Beijing…palm…

Beijing*gasp* thumb… (one even tried it with his pinky finger)

Beijing…and butt. This would only be half as funny if you actually realized that he caught it ON his butt while the pole was flying mid-air.

BeijingThis is the pose that he always assumes. Ta-daaaa! with a flourish. *asks for applause next*

BeijingBeijingOur poor fellow teacher getting more than he bargained for… supposedly this bow is made of heavy yadda yadda and stringing it is equally difficult yadda yadda.

BeijingBeijingBeijingFor the love of God. If the bow is as ancient and tough as it looks like, and his teeth really come off during one performance, I doubt he’ll be repeating that performance the next day.

BeijingBeijingThe big man just keeps going…

BeijingBeijingSo… there. The performance finished to awkward applause, and we left feeling particularly – using today’s teenage vocabulary – lame. If your tourist group consists of teachers or other professionals, I’d suggest that you skip this place and show.

BeijingBeijingAt least the outside was still a bit pretty to look at…

BeijingBeijingBeijingBeijingTill next time! The Beijing diaries are almost done…

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