On Wednesday night after tennis, I could smell something burning in the air, but couldn't figure out where the source was.
Then when I was on the bus home, I could hear some loud cracking noises.
Was it someone setting off firecrackers?
When we got closer to a underpass, the noise got louder and louder. Perhaps there were some young people setting them off for fun.
But as we passed by, I saw some older men, five or six of them, practicing cracking whips that were long and thick.
One man with a pot belly kept snapping the long black coil back and forth with a flourish
I'd never seen them before and never knew people even did that in Beijing... let alone anywhere.
Were they getting ready for a circus act? Or aspiring to be the next Chinese Indiana Jones?
Probably one of those things you'll only see once in Beijing.