Beijing, Hulusi and Diabolo


Every afternoon Mrs. Qin Fengling goes to the Ge Yuan park to play Hulusi for an hour. After that she stays to do some physical exercises.


There are many trainings and workshops for learning how to play the Hulusi, Mrs. Qin Fengling did not attend any. Instead, she bought a book on how to play Hulusi and taught herself.


Listen to Mrs. Qin playing (in the background you can hear the sound of a diabolo and the shutter of my camera):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Many retired Beijingers exercise in parks by playing with Diabolos. It’s a lively view and the sound carries far.


The man we meet after talking to Mrs. Qin, plays two kinds of diabolo, both with only one bowl (usually a diabolo has two bowls which makes it easier to keep them in balance). He uses two sets of sticks; short ones and longer ones. He says that it is more difficult to play with the longer sticks, because after holding the sticks for a few minutes your hands start feeling sour and lack the strength.


Every morning there are many older men playing diabolos in the woods of Ge Yuan park as an exercise.


He invites us to join him in playing diabolos and instructs us how to play: circle the rope between the sticks three times around the diabolo, then raise the diabolo with the sticks and move the sticks to get the diabolo in balance. After that, circle the rope counter-clockwise once and keep one circle of rope around the diabolo. Keep moving the sticks with both hands by turns. If the diabolo can make a resonant sound, it means you are playing fine.




Beijing, FaTou Amusement Park


Mr. Hong is the manager of an amusement park in FaTou, Beijing.

He works in this amusement park for almost two years and worked in several others for the past 10 years.


Did you get a special kind of education for this work?

“Yes of course. All careers related to machines require technical skills. I studied machine maintenance.”


Can you tell a bit about the safety regulations in the park?

“Every single child entering this park must be accompanied by an adult or a guardian. Apart from that; we don’t have those huge and dangerous machines; everything here is for kids under 12 years old. So it is safe here and nothing too dangerous can happen.”


So the park is more focused on a child’s fantasy than on the thrill?

“You’re right. We don’t have those big and dangerous machines here.”



On a busy day when there are a lot of kids, what does your day look like?

“At weekends and during holidays it can be quite busy. It is my job to maintain a friendly atmosphere in the park. I would walk around to see if there is anything wrong. This job involves managing the workers and taking care of the safety of all the machines.”


What is the most popular place for the kids?

“The kids like the merry-go-round best, and during the summer they like playing with or in the water.”


When you were a kid, were you also very fond of amusement parks?

“When I was a kid we didn’t have such fancy amusement parks. I just played at home.”


Do you like the fact that you’re here with the same kind of music all day or can it become annoying?

“I don’t feel annoyed by the music. I kind of like it, because I like working in this industry.”


What gives you the most satisfaction in your work?

“I find the condition of the air is quite good here.”


Is it because of the trees?

“(…) and there is a lot to see. Maybe it is not enough, but the trees are good for one’s health. Every job can do harm to one’s health. Just imagine it. I used to trade building materials and it was not good for my health.”


How many people do you have to manage?

“About 3 to 6 people.”


So it’s a nice, small working environment?

“Yes. And my job is not tiring.”


Are you friends with your colleagues?

“I’m still their boss.”


What are your working hours in a week?

“From 8am to 6pm. We work every day of the week, without a break.”


Any break in the winter?

“No break in the winter. Holidays are the busiest time in this park.”







Beijing Spring


In Beijing the winter is long and cold. Spring is the shortest season, usually between 4 – 6 weeks only. But when spring arrives in the second half of April, everybody enjoys and visits parks or the mountains around Beijing.


Especially the Yuyuantan Park (Jade Lake Park) in the West of Beijing is popular and very crowded during this period because of the many cherry blossom trees.


This week the summer arrived. For mild temperatures in the low twenties we now have to wait until mid September when the pleasant (and longer) autumn will start.



Beijing, Writings on the wall


This photo was taken in Beijing’s TuanJieHu Park. The translations of the readable writings on the wall are:




Liu Guodong (a person’s name)


Liu Haitao (a person’s name)


Love you my woman.


Han Wen (a person’s name)


I’m sorry.


About love, I did fucking try my best.

— Xiao Dai (a person’s name)


Han Wen, I’ll love you for all my life.


Zhan TianHao , Class 6 Grade 3 of junior high school


Give yourself a chance,

and you’ll be the happiest girl in the world!!!




I’m looking for a real man.


Youth is the erection of the reproductive material.


A fast …


Looking for a loose woman.


Looking for a girlfriend.


I love the stupid girl.


Gou Dan (dog egg –

many names with “egg” in it are used for scolding)


Oriental ability and integrity. DongFang DeCai

(most likely a man’s name) has no bright future.


River water