Everything counts in small amounts

Sunday, September 11, 2005


It’s been a busy week. I don’t know how other bloggers post daily and still have a life. I can’t do both at the same time. I’m sitting on pictures from our first week in Taiwan that I haven’t had time to post. Such is life, I guess.

The highlight of last week was easily Saturday our trip to Danshi on Saturday. Danshi is a small town between the mouth of the Danshi River and the sea. It’s the last stop going north on the red line out of Taipei. The trip takes about an 45-minutes on the metro from downtown Taipei.

Jiyeoun and arrived in the late afternoon. The sun was going down and things were cooling off. The first place we visited was Danshi’s main street.

It was packed with people, food stands, and assorted shops. My favorite store was the made-to-order soup shop pictured below.

Customers pick from beef, pork, or seafood based broths and specify what ingredients they want in the soup. In the foreground of the picture above there are shrimp balls and dumplings. In the background there are bean sprouts, noodles, egg rolls, and pork. They all can be added to your soup. We bought the pearl tea I wrote about in my last post on Danshi’s main street.

From there, we walked along the boardwalk. The sun was setting and we watched from the bank of the river as we drank our tea.

Like Main Street, the boardwalk was full of food stands and restaurants. But, it was also littered with fortunetellers, teahouses, and souvenir shops. My favorite was this karaoke. For 10 Taiwan dollars (30 cents US) you can select from a catalogue of thousands of songs and sing it in front of passersby on the boardwalk. When we walked by, a little girl of 7 or 8 was singing for about 30 people who had gathered to watch. You can see the back of her head in the foreground of the picture below.

From the boardwalk, Jiyeoun and I went to look for a place to have dinner. We ended up having some decent Japanese food: tempura, fish, sushi cones, rice, and soup. But, during the search, we came across this place.

For me it typifies the use of space in North East Asia. This is a soup restaurant. All the people in line are waiting for their orders. This picture does not show the crowd of people at the tables behind the counter sitting shoulder to shoulder eating their dinner. I’ve been in crowds like this in other places and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

After dinner, we took a ferry to the fisherman’s wharf about a mile up the Danshi on the edge of the sea. We arrived late so the seafood market was closed. There was little to look at, except for this beautiful footbridge, which connected the wharf to the mainland.

Jiyeoun and I did a quick lap around the market and returned to Danshi on the ferry. It was a wonderful night. The breeze was blowing in off the sea and the mainland was lit up like a Christmas tree. The ferry ride was too bumpy to take decent pictures though. So you’ll have to satisfy yourself with your own imagination.


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