Saturday, October 22, 2005

Chunghua Night Market

Vendors along Gongyuan Rd.

Next week my my aunt and uncle are coming to Taiwan to visit us for three days on their way back home from China, so we were thinking of taking them to some of the attractions in the Taichung area. I had seen the Chungahua Night Market in Compass' list of 16 attractions in Taichung, so we decided to check it out as a possible place to bring them.

The market sprawls around the area of Gongyuan and Junghua Roads, behind the Chungyo Department store, a famous landmark. I am sad to report that the shopping areas directly nearby Chungyo are probably more interesting, and certainly the restaurants are better. This night market is thoroughly dull, especially for the kids.

Cute little bandits.

The market is composed largely of clothing shops and food vendors. There are no games or rides for the kids. There is on amusement place on the way, the one pictured above. But we hate burning money in those places.

The True Jesus Church, as opposed to those False Jesus Churches.

We parked on a side street near the True Jesus Church, an imposing structure fronted by clothing vendors, fortunetellers, and porn VCD sellers in the best Taiwan style.

Rhonda and Mom bargain for a purse.

We took our neighbor Rhonda and her son Josh with us to the market.

The fecundity of modern productive power.

Presentations in Night Markets emphasize the seller's ability to supply an abundance of goods.

Got heartburn? Fried seafood.

Although there were some small eateries, most of it was stuff the kids don't eat, or that we wouldn't let them eat, or wouldn't eat ourselves.

Steak to order.

Finally we located something Sebastian would eat: chicken fried and served on an iron plate over noodles.

Hot pot cookin'.

Rhonda and I had typical night market fare, cheap hot pots. Mom ordered some ribs in soup from the vendor next door.....

Josh plays with his money.

Josh was a big hit with the locals.

Lots of stuff? Nope!

The "Ma La" (spicy) hot pot clocked in at $80. It looks like there is plenty of stuff but actually there wasn't very much. Worse, our presence precipitated what appeared to be another episode in a long-running argument between the hot pot vendor and the rib vendor from whom mom ordered her ribs in medicinal broth. The two men, next door to each other, nearly came to blows, arguing over whether the hot pot vendor had really returned a chair he had borrowed from the rib vendor. Finally JY apologized for causing the argument, which obviously wasn't about her, and this intervention caused the two men to slowly wind down.

Waiting by the health clinic.

It was hard to see what the fight really was about, since there were spare stools everywhere.

Shaved ice treats.

A favorite of the women in our family are those shaved ice treats found everywhere.

Dan-dan and Mom make their choices.

The great thing about them is that they basically consist of water and sweetened toppings, meaning that they are low in fat and calories.

Rhonda in the shop.

We wandered around for another hour, but there was nothing to really see, do, or buy, unless you were into sexy underwear, purses, bad shoes, or barbecue.

Watching as Zeb's chicken is cooked.

Zeb and Dan-dan got some BBQ for breakfast the next day.

The jewelry shop.

Mom stopped to have a look at everything. When Mom shops, each and every object must be inspected, and its merits discussed and dissected.

I want to scream too.

I can't decide whether I should laugh at this thing from the fortunetellers, or run screaming in fear from it.

The video store.

My wife maintains that in Taiwan you can't make it as a singer unless you are really good looking, while in the US there is still the possibility that you can make it in the music business no matter how unprepossessing you might be.

Bangles on clothing.

I love the contrast between this iron-faced old vendor and the bright clothing festooned with metal and beads that she sells.

Inspecting the nail clippers.

Mom and Rhonda did manage to find some necessities.

How long will they last?

My father once remarked that there is no town so small that it can't use another shoe store, and looking at Taiwan night markets, it is clear that he was right.

Sugared fruits.

It was past the kids' bedtime, so we headed home....

Sheridan poses with the newfangled phone that provides email, telephone, and other services.

I cannot recommend this night market. There are many better ones locally; even the small ones in Tanzi beat it. Spend your time and money elsewhere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

josh is cute and wonder the locals find him charming! Taichung Rocks!!!! Thanks for sharing!