My friend and I were at People's Park this afternoon. We stopped for you cha, which translates to 'oil tea' and is like a bowl of thick gravy topped with crunchy soybeans and crispy fried strips of dough. You cha fixings:
They were also selling san da pao, a sweet snack whose name translates to 'three big cannons'. The name refers to the preparation method. San da pao is three rice dumplings rolled by hand, then thrown against a wide basket filled with soybean powder. Each dumpling makes a boom as it hits the basket. They are then doused with sweet syrup and sesame seeds. Kids waiting for their san da pao:
These were some of the best san da pao I've had. The syrup wasn't burned and the sesame seeds smelled freshly toasted and nutty:
My friend thoughtfully ordered my you cha without any hot pepper (hai jiao). I like spicy things, but have discovered that ordering things not spicy is one way to avoid getting a slick of oil poured over whatever you are eating. The you cha was pretty good without it anyway:
These are matchmaking ads, which I've heard about but never noticed in Chengdu before. They are usually brought and perused by parents seeking mates for their children. A typical ad read something like: Young girl, 26, bachelor degree, 1.57 m, attractive, working at ------. Seeking 35 or younger, bachelor degree or higher, 1.7 m or taller, man with employment.