Sunday, December 16, 2012

Party at The People's Park

After our leisurely stroll through Kuan-zhai Alley, we saw the People's Park was nearby and decided to check it out.  As we got closer, we could hear all kinds of music and activity going on.  We were in for an amazing ride!
It looked like this group was led by a Tibetan woman.  She was dancing and other random people were joining her.  She had a little tape player with music.  There was another group nearby that was ballroom dancing, and we could hear music coming from all around the park.  We watched for a while, then went to check out the rest of the groups.

There was a main "square" in the center of the park, and all around it were little areas where pockets of people were singing and dancing with brightly colored costumes and banners above them.  Some had small bands/orchestras playing along.  Each group had a microphone and blared their music as loud as possible.  We could hear 5 or 6 different groups at the same time!  What a cacophony!!

If I didn't know better, I'd have sworn I was in Mexico when I saw this dancer.  We learned later that these are groups of retired folks who all worked at the same place, and they still love to get together for a show every Friday in the

 The spectators were as interesting as the performers.  Mostly elderly, they would clap along and sing when the songs they recognized were performed.  Sometimes, they couldn't help themselves--just gotta dance!
Aren't they adorable?
You see in the background here, a bunch of posters on sticks and we wondered what the attraction was there.  Turns out these are "Singles Ads" where people post their (or their son's/daughter's) photo and interests and hope that a potential mate will see their poster and make a connection. 

There were a surprising number of people inspecting these "want ads".  I guess it works for them.

The park has places to buy food and snacks, and lots of stalls with children's toys and balloons.
There's also an artificial lake, and the little boy in the boat wasn't happy that they were not going to allow him to do all the steering!

A waterfall that wasn't flowing, a man flying a kite, another man selling pelts....

 (Too bad it's not a dragon kite.)

We headed into the main square where music was playing from 3 or 4 different boom boxes, and different groups of people (and several individuals all alone) were dancing away.  There were people like us just standing around watching them.  It didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason, any director or specific purpose.  Among the spectators, I met a man from Singapore who was eager to talk with me.  People love a REAL American so they can practice their English.  He was well-dressed, with his nice scarf, and spoke English very well.

A Chinese man, missing several teeth, came over in front of us and began to write on the sidewalk using a foam calligraphy brush dipped in water.

His "Fun" sign was pointing to the dancers.

The sidewalk calligrapher handed his brush to this man, who corrected the man's "USA" to show his true origin, Africa.  Specifically, Botswana.

I added my origin as well, and added some of my own calligraphy, a cactus and sunshine.  Soon a woman came over and shooed us out of the way.  We were taking up their dancing space!

So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
Marian and I decided that "when in Rome, do as the Romans do"!  I also dragged Kirk out there.

Dancing in the People's Park

We had fun, but in the meantime, Marian was filming the surrounding people.  You have to watch this video and notice the randomness of this whole scenario.  Notice the people (a woman in a yellow coat with a purse, and a man in a grey sweater) who are completely content to dance alone, but they never smile!  Also, notice what the especially talented dancer does to the man in the grey sweater when he's in her space!  But the best is at the end, when the clean-up woman is determined to let nothing get in her way as she does her job!  Too funny!!

People's Park Pandemonium 

On the other side of the square, there was different music playing (Michael Jackson!), plus a big "red carpet", like a model's catwalk, stretched out across the plaza.  We stood there laughing our heads off as we watched people get crazy with dancing (none of whom knew each other before, nor did they all speak the same language), and in the meantime, this "blond" Chinese man decided to strut--he didn't seem to care who was watching and didn't seem to be doing it for anyone in particular.  What a Party at the People's Park!

Random Chinese Park People 

(PS  With our horrible Chinese internet, it has taken me 2 WEEKS to get these videos uploaded and playing right, but you gotta see them, so please take a look!)


  1. That is hilarious! I went to a zumba class with my mom in California and the old Asian women were so fun to watch because they got so into it but kept a straight face. Makes me want to dance!

  2. Wow! Too funny. They are so "free spirited" yet so serious at the same time.