10 February 2019

Taipei, Jade market and night food

It's a late morning wakeup, we are tired from our travels returning from Palau and need a good sleep.

As we leave our hotel in the cranky elevator I went to push the 1 button to get to the ground floor and noticed that there is no floor number 4. They skip from floor 3 to floor 5. 

This is because anything number 4 in China is bad luck, as the pronunciation of the number is similar to that of the character for "death".

I thought it was some kind of old superstition that only old people in villages believe, but no, it is here in one of the best hotels in the high-tech capital of modern Taiwan.

A short walk and we are out in the lazy Sunday traffic.

Trip to the Jade Market, which has become a bit touristy, a lot actually, but is still interesting. Open only on weekends from 10 to 6 in the evening.

Mostly jewels, lots of handicraft and even live anumals, like a few friendly parrots.

Many coins from the Qing dynasty are available, a souvenir full of history. Some may be fakes, but they are quite common and cheap, I don't think it would pay to mint fakes.

In the end I bought a pair of jade earrings from the Qing dynasty for my wife. They dynasty reigned for almost 300 years so it's hard to date the stuff, but it does not really matter.

The most interesting encounter is with a Tibetan couple who came to Taiwan 11 years ago. In broken English, they tell us their stories and show us their wares. They did not feel safe in Tibet and decided to leave, but it was not clear to me why they decided to come to Taiwan. I did not want to be intrusive and did not ask.

I bought a curiously intriguing red Buddha carved in I am not sure what. Maybe some resin or perhaps animal bone.

Funny that they only take cash everywhere in the market. I did not expect Taiwan to be so backward. In any similar market in China these days everyone, including illiterate farmers, would accept electronic payments.

Liaoning night food market for dinner. Taipei is famous for its night markets, again it can be a touristy experience but the food is good and generally cheap.

Tonight for me it's goose intestine with chili, ginger and spring onion. All washed down with cool local beer.

Followed by pig blood curd soup. Usually we have our soups first, but you can't really plan a meal at a night market in Taiwan, it depends what you stumble into first.

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