Friday, 9 September 2011

Acrobats, Warrior Monks and Hutongs

Excursions in the two weeks included an acrobat show which was great and at times pretty crazy! I think my favourite act was a group of acrobats who wore a lot of hats and simply just exchanged them with each other in funny ways…..

It ended with a motorbike driving around inside a spherical metal casing (including upside down!) Then another bike was added and then another one…and each time a new one entered the sphere of doom the audience gasped!  They managed to get five motorbikes in there by the end and I thought someone might have actually fallen off and got seriously injured but they all got out without a scratch on them!

We also went to see a Kungfu show which was pretty amazing. It was a story following a young boy on his journey to become a warrior monk.  I guess I would describe it as a cross between kungfu and dance. Every now and then the monks would enter from different doors dotted around the audience and that made me a little jumpy…you would never want to cross one of these warrior monk dudes! About half way through the performance came the monk who liked to break things using his head. He then also became part of a monk/bed of nails/another monk/another bed of nails sandwich. Not content with that, the third monk would get involved and hit the uppermost bed of nails with a giant hammer just to round it off!…I wasn’t so much a fan of this part! The Kungfu theatre is definitely worth a mention though as it looked like something out of the Crystal Maze…the whole front of the building was about 3 feet deep in a type of red scaffolding that one would most definitely want to attempt to climb!

We also had the opportunity to visit a ‘Hutong’ which is in the older part of Beijing and where a lot of Beijingers live. We were taken around in a rickshaw and the best things I saw included the cutest little Chinese girl in her Dad’s very big shoes as well as a ‘dog’ who looked like and was the size of a mini bear (apologies no pictures for these two but I will leave it up to your imagination). We were also taken to see a kungfu master who had lived in the hutong all his life. There were pictures on the wall of him with Jackie Chan and he had a lot of swords on display in his house! We were also all given business cards for his son who now trains in America (I think this plug for his son was mainly aimed at the girls! But I am not sure if he quite realised that the UK is a rather long way from the United States!) This guy was very sweet but you knew deep down he was pretty badass!
Jake and me in our rickshaw about to be shown around the hutong

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