Life in China 2017: A Picture a Day, March 7 – You can see vendors selling quite a variety of things in China. Today we passed this man selling baskets and gourds. The gourds you see hanging from the trunk are considered to be good luck symbols; I’ve often seen them hanging on rearview mirrors. They are bottle or calabash gourds, and their Chinese name sounds similar to words for “protect” and “happiness and rank,” as well as looking like a number “8” which is considered lucky. There’s a lot more to their significance, here is an article with a lot more information if you are interested http://www.thechairmansbao.com/history-gourds-china/ . I was excited when I saw that he also had backscratchers because my husband had just asked for one ;-0 So, we bought a backscratcher for 5rmb or about 75 cents in USD.
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 26 – The past few weeks, I’ve started seeing the vendors with “tanghulu.” These are candied fruit on a stick. Traditionally, they were made from Chinese hawthorn (also called haw, haw berry or hawthorn apple), and these are still the most common, but, I’ve also seen strawberries, kiwi, cherry tomatoes and mandarin oranges. They are the Chinese equivalent to a candy apple; hardened sugar coating outside with soft fruit inside. They are typically a street food found in cooler weather. In the summer, you can buy “bingtanghulu” where the sticks of hawthorn fruit are frozen. I like to eat the frozen ones better simply because they normally don’t have seeds and the others do! The man also has a cotton candy making machine on the back of his cart, and has pinwheels for sale. This cart was parked at the entrance to a park. You also commonly see people either carrying the poles with the candied fruit for sale or riding a bicycle with them attached to the handlebars.
Now that our weather has turned warm, most of the street vendors have changed their food offerings. It’s not so easy to find sweet potatoes and roasted chestnuts now, but pineapple on a stick is very popular. The vendors usually have some cut and sitting in some salt water, ready for purchase. You can also find carts selling whole ones as well, which they will cut for you if you want. Today was a rainy day, and although we did see some sweet potatoes, we opted for the pineapple – sweet and delicious! These pictures are actually from a couple weeks ago, as I said today was rainy, and with an umbrella in one hand and pineapple in the other, I didn’t take a picture! The day we took these pictures, we bought half a pineapple for 3rmb or about 50 cents usd, but today, we only got a quarter for the same price! I could’ve bargained, but decided since it was a slow day, the vendor probably could use the extra earnings. :-) Do you like the fancy look of the pineapple? Here’s a video showing how they cut them: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=pineapple+on+a+stick+street+vendor+china&&view=detail&mid=D2D5594260BAADEAB7C2D2D5594260BAADEAB7C2&rvsmid=D2D5594260BAADEAB7C2D2D5594260BAADEAB7C2&fsscr=0&FORM=VDMCNL