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Uncle Souzhai’s spining top

After this first meeting with Chinese top players, I have of course tried to get one. An hard job when you don’t speak and read Chinese. I have visited all the sports shops of the city, questioned numbers of merchants, docks, shops furniture and others, without success. Each time, I was told “meyo” (I have not). In such situation, there is only one solution; call Uncle Souzhai.

Souzhai, is the brother of my wife’s father, he works as engineer in a stainless steel furniture factory ; it is handyman and like many people here, he does not hesitate to use the machine of the factory to make furniture and utensils for his family and his friends. He has thus equipped his kitchen with a set of stainless steel furnitures that you’d believe come from a ktichen specialist and he is the man to ask when you are seeking something not easily found in the shops. My wife then called the uncle to talk about tops. A few days later, uncle said us that it has made a gyro and the same day, we come to his house to see this famous gyro It is perfect, but with its 6 cm high, it should rather fit for a child who will spin it with a stick.

I shows Souzhai the pictures of top players I made near the canal and we begin to discuss about the size and the shape of the gyro number 2. Souzhai perfectly understood. Just need to wait until he will have time to prepare this new toy. Surprise, one evening where we met in the restaurant to “celebrate” the grandmother birthday, who passed away a few years ago, Uncle Souzhai brings me the new spining top. I am pleased, like a kid who just received his first bike and I have of course only a single hurry, try my new toy. But as I have not yet a whip and think the restaurant marble floor is not the right place to play gyro, I try to wait for a better opprtunity.

Joueur de toupie chinoise à Zhanjiang
Joueur de toupie chinoise à Zhanjiang

The next day, I come back at Beiqiao Park to meet the gyros players and we try together my new toy. They rave about its hardened steel tip, then begin to criticize its shape: too high say some, too broad, others say. This is true, Uncle Souzhai was a little heavy handed and the gyro which should be originally 17 cm tall, is in fact almost twenty. Then, the gravity center is a bit high and the gyro is difficult to handle, and especially to launch. But once again, it is a matter of technique and practice. In a few weeks I would have grabbed the helping hand to launch this top that is heavier than a bowling ball and which has no hole to handle.