Life in China Series – Park Games

The parks in China (I mean, Beijing) are full of old men and women playing cards, dominos and Chinese chess. They’re the most common park games any one will see when strolling around. The street corners are also filled with old people in a group of four or more, in deep thoughts, strategizing their next move–as if, their old age revolves around the game, a country’s national past time.

Of the three park games, I’m familiar with domino. In fact, I’m good at it, I think. LOL…

Once, I tried to play it against an old guy in Beihai Park and, as expected, he beat me mercilessly. I asked for another round and his friends were laughing—but they let me. I slowed down the game by thinking so hard before making my moves. Our little spectators of five grew impatient that they began to start coaching me. Of course, I didn’t listen to them. I had to save my face. LOL…

Again, I lost.

My Chinese friend/translator and I thanked them for the opportunity and we walked out gracefully. He made fun of my poor, shameful performance—and I felt more than embarrassed. As he said, “You lost face.”  🙁

Park Games is the first part of  my Life in China Series

Park Games

While parks in Western countries are infested with shirtless people sunbathing, reading books and having picnics, Chinese parks are owned by people in their sunset years.

Park Games in Beijing

Sometimes, a young spectator studies the game closely so he could, perhaps, learn and pass on to the next generation? 🙂

Park Games in China

You think park games are for men only? In this pic, they are outnumbered by women.

Park Games

If there’s no park around, people do it on the side street or just outside their homes. Any flat area is good to deal the cards.

Park Games

I learned that going to a park and play games with other seniors is one of the best ways to meet people. Some of these grannies talk about their grandchildren who are still single and they play matchmakers to each other’s grandkids.

Park Games

Yes, these park games can be this serious.

Park in China

Some of these men take turns in playing. Whoever loses the game will be replaced by the one waiting.

Park Games

Someone just won!

Park Games

Someone just lost! Bet he lost his budget for his household? Wifey must be really furious. LOL…

Park Games

No chair? No problem, I can bring a folded one!

Park Games

This pic was taken in summer. But, look, they’re dressed as if they’re inside a casino!

Park Games

Every games in the park always has spectators. They can be someone they know, a tourist or just plain strangers.

Life in China

Family bonding, maybe?

Park Games

Afternoon = card games with neighbors

Park Games

We’ll take you from ancient to modern China!


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

1 comment

  • Good choice of sepia for this series. better than the black and white. Never been to Beijing or China but will probably check these guys out in the park. 🙂

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