Taiwan, June 4, 2006
Hungry? You can find a meal and a deal here
In the midst of my Lost In Translation jet lag, where my "day" starts around 8pm, I headed to the Tonghua Night Market as it's the only lively spot late on a Sunday in Taipei.
You know you're close to the market by the neon signs that line the streets around it, calling to the late-night shoppers like I. The crowds start to accumulate too, where once you were walking alone down a street, you are soon shoulder to shoulder with innumerable other shoppers. Then, when you turn a little corner, you're in the night market.
There, squeezed down a long, narrow alley, is an Asian market - the kind you'll find from Beijing to Bangkok, where you can snack on tasty foods while you shop for all your daily needs.
Down either side of the alley are shops selling shirts and shoes, paper and books, and all manner of little trinkets. The center isle has all manner of food vendors, selling everything from fresh fruit in a bag to fried chicken feet and cold duck tongue.
I was more in the mood for something sweet after Saturday night's all-night party binge, so I grabbed a freshly cut mango and went with the crowd.
Window shopping long enough, I went into a few of the men's clothes stores. I was looking for a good mistranslation shirt, something written so poorly as to be a cool cult favorite on the streets of DC. Unfortunately, Taipei is a little too cosmopolitan for that. Empty handed, I headed out.
Out into the sea of humanity ever-present in Asia. It's only so long I can wade through Asian crowds before I get claustrophobic and need my personal space. In the Tonghua Night Market that proved to be difficult, so I made for the main street and a taxi home.
Out on the main street, the night was quiet and empty again, only a few people walking along. In Taipei, late on a Sunday, the Tonghua Night Market is the only place to be!