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My morning market

Taipei Travel Blog

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When we first chose our apartment we had doubts. Surrounding it are about three dozen mechanic shops with cars jacked up, motorbikes parked on the sidewalks, and an abundance of greasy men shouting hellos to the three foreign girls.  This is because our fourth floor balcony lies even with a freeway projecting traffic in and out of northern Taipei.  This is only at the front, though. Walk out the door, turn left at 7-11, and go behind the building. There we have a fresh market, vendors at stalls gutting fish and hacking pork, others squatting on the street behind piles of tomatos, carrots, and peppers. Walk past the fruit shops and follow the women dragging wheeled shopping carts and you'll end up at Rongxing Market. No more than a block long, it's packed with $3 clothes, trendy shoes, knock-off designer bags, floral chopsticks, and old people readying their elbows to knock you outa the way should you get close to their target. You'll undoubtedly witness an argument, staring conspicuously like the other onlookers, the difference being you have to make up the scenario cause you don't understand a word... he owes money for the new kitchen ware he bought last week but doesn't have it today cause his wife's down the street buying loads of baby clothes for their grand-daughter... she just knocked over his bike and sent his lettuce flying and he won't let it go cause he didn't get the bargain he was hoping for and now his dinner's contaminated.  The shoe guy on the corner greets you cause you bought three pairs from him in the past two weeks while the shoe guy down the street yells hello to you tirelessly as you pass him by. Some of the vendors come and go. You've noticed cause you look for that bargain top shop and it just isn't there anymore. Neither is that great stone necklace you checked out last week and planned to buy after your next paycheck.  But the constant market metamorphosis is also what keeps you going back, dodging carts and elbows all morning, wondering what's new. And don't tell the roommates, but you're secretly seeking that special something to keep the mechanics' heads turning...
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photo by: Deats