Wuxi residents make their way to Taibo Temple Fair on Feb 13. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Despite the initial awkwardness of working out what we are supposed to be doing, soon we are all enthusiastically competing against Wuxi locals in a game involving rolling a metal circle using only a stick with a hook on the end. Our initial confidence is quickly dented when we realize it is virtually impossible to master in a few minutes, and we are left chasing our circles as they spin out of control.
The group fares better as we try more familiar games, such as skipping and pushups. But it is clear the lively Chinese crowd has the advantage.
After the excitement of the afternoon's games, the group is taken to view some of the local artistic traditions prevalent in the Wuxi area. We look on with interest as local craftspeople demonstrate skills such as paper cutting, bamboo carving, and painting the insides of bottles.
None of us leaves the crafts area without seeing at least one artistic creation that captures our attention.