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The Most Politically Incorrect Fairground Ride Ever

Only in China could you make a children’s fairground ride out of shooting endangered animals. So, how many species can you make extinct in 4 minutes?
OK kid, now just sit back, relaaaaxx, and watch the expert at work. They used to call me Terminator Wang……
Ha! Let’s start with the Bengal Tiger….bang!

Triceratops! Bang! Bang! You’re dead! Oh…….I forgot……’re already dead……..
The penguin, get the penguin! Bullseye!!
OK kid, next round we’ll swap…….you shoot, I’ll drive.
Click here for more unique stuff to see in Fuxing Park

Fuxing Park Pensioner Devils

Whenever I get back to Shanghai after a trip, I like to wander around Fuxing Park and check that all the usual stuff is going on in the ‘hood. Backwards walking, check. Ballroom dancing, check. Inspirational Communist singing, check. There are thousands of activities taking place. Personally, I’m always impressed by the mature-age diablo fiends. You know what a diablo is, don’t you – a brightly coloured dumb-bell shaped plastic thingy, beloved of kids and hippy wannabe circus performers in other parts of the world. But in China, spinning the diablo is a retirement activity. Their primary coloured diablos whizz around them making an extraordinary noise, and they can do all sorts of incredble tricks. But today, as with every day in Shanghai, I saw something I’d never seen before. Masked, multi-diablo masters. A whole bunch of the devils.

So lets start with one diablo…….I’m just warming up

So easy….

Let’s try four at once and see what happens…

Ah!……..what skill! 

I can do four too!
Yes! Four diablos all at once! OK, OK too easy. But eight…….is eight possible??
Uh….no. Chinese Elvis! It didn’t work because you’re not wearing your mask!
Get yourself untangled and make way for the Grand Diablo Master…..despite his age, his arthritis, and not wearing his mask……..
He can do it! Twelve! Twelve spinning diablos!! Applause please!

St Patrick’s Day in Shanghai

Happy St Patrick’s Day to Irishmen everywhere. A surprisingly large number of people with Irish heritage live here in Shanghai and they all turned out for the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Fuxing Park on the weekend. Or maybe they turned out for the stout.  There was lots of green, white and orange and a sea of giant black velvet leprechaun hats, being given out by the Murphy’s Irish Stout crowd. A marching band from the Shanghai Community International School led the way, there was Irish dancing, Irish music, a Chinese-Irish dragon, and 6 Chinese blokes in wolf costumes. I have no idea what that was about. 

Kite Graveyard, Fuxing Park

Kite flying is a very popular past-time all over China, and especially so in Fuxing Park. This is not a hobby for mere kids, however, and those under 50 should practice elsewhere. Space on the big square grass lawn is hotly contested and turf wars play out constantly between the fighter kite guys, the bird kite guys and the air cell kite guys. Don’t even try turning up with your Hello Kitty kite. If the wind drops out suddenly though, all bets are off because all types of kites can end up in the giant kite graveyard tree at the southern end of the park. Try and get your torn and mangled kite out of this one, and you might end up with a hip replacement you weren’t banking on.

Fuxing Park, 9am

Welcome to Fuxing Park, my local park. It’s a pretty extraordinary place. On any given morning it will be filled with….oh….about 1500 people, just going about their morning park business. Which may be…………

………group calisthenics…..anyone under 60 should not attempt these difficult arm swinging moves.

Or some solo tai chi? I’m not sure how she kept her composure and balance because there was a large group playing their maraccas right next to her. And next to them was the ‘Happy Every Day’ choir, who sing bracing communist era songs as a morning wake-up.

You could find a quiet spot to read the paper, away from the maraccas………………….

……or chat with friends………………………….

…………or take up ballroom dancing! This is by far the most popular activity with no less than 10 different ballroom groups competing for space around the park. Waltz? Jive? You’ll find it here. So when you’re in Shanghai make sure to spend a morning at the park. Oh! I forgot to mention there’s also kite-flying, chinese chess, free blood pressure checks, chinese opera, an area to practice your musical instrument in, sword fighting, badminton, diablo, card games…….you get the idea.