Chinese Whippersnappers


It sounded like gunfire but it couldn’t be. I wasn’t in Chicago, I was in China.

The sound was coming from across the street, not in an alley with gang bangers but a group of old men spinning their tops, an activity they call tuó?luó, pronounced tow-ah-low-ah. ??


These guys crack a whip at an old school over sized top, the snap a thousand times louder than anything coming out of a bowl of Rice Krispies.


With one swift crack, the top keeps spinning for a while. They’ll have a cigarette, and crack it again. Then check messages on their cell phone and crack it one more time.

Da TuoLou isn’t for wimps. This top spinning takes a lot of muscle. So these guys must eat their wheaties…or at least the Chinese equivalent to it, like these fiery morning noodles.

Here’s a youtube video of the top in action.

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