People's Park; Chengdu, Sichuan province, China

I visited People’s Park in Chengdu, with my friend, Yuan Hui. We drank tea, watched others play mahjong, and discussed friends, family, loved ones; this being China, we also talked ping-pong.

Hui is the first person I’ve met in China who has a sibling, a rarity because of China’s one-child policy. There are exceptions to the regulation, but I did not ask why it was possible for her parents to have more than one child. That, I imagine, would be a cultural faux pas.

Hui is 22 years old, and her brother is 20.

Many of the parks in Chengdu offer traditional ear cleanings, where specialists clean the wax out of your ear canals using special tools. I told Hui I was curious to try this, but she misunderstood me. Later in the day, when passed a beauty shop, she ran inside and bought me cotton swabs.

Yuan Hui, my friend from Nanchong and Chengdu, and the first person I’ve met in China who has a sibling.

Chrysanthemum tea, from People’s Park in Chengdu; some of the best tea I’ve ever had, and only 10 RMB.

Oolong tea, from People’s Park in Chengdu.