Dec 30, 2004  We go to the Shilin Night Market

Thursday night, we went to Shilin Night Market.  The Night Market, an institution in most large towns, is a cross between the Rambla in Barcelona and the NC State Fair midway and a flea market done right.   Liya Wang, one of the translators on staff at the Kaohshiung Festival went with us (she works as an arts administrator for an artists' colony here called Hau Shan Winery, a collection of old buildings turned into artists' studios in downtown Taipei.)  We ate "stinky tofu" (fermented tofu), oyster omelets, fruit drinks, squid on a stick, and visited a temple to the goddess of sailors (around which the night market has grown up).  We haggled to buy an extra large suitcase to bring back stuff.  The Night Market was a blast and I'll have to write more on it later.  The temple to the patron goddess of sailers', Ma Tsu, will need its own web page.  I put at the bottom of this page, one picture taken outside the temple--the opera stage across from the temple.  Opera is performed to amuse the gods, so stages were set up across from the temple.  Operas are still staged there, but I love the fact that TV vendors have built up around the stage for the other nights.  I guess Ma Tsu can follow her favorite soap operas this way.

 

  Joel's first bite of "stinky tofu."

   Joy's first bite

Actually, the stinky tofu has little taste--it just smells like a horse barn before it's cooked.

 

one of many food courts at the night market

  

Squid soup simmering..a favorite to go with oyster omelets.

   squid on a stick is also popular

as are whole cooked sparrows, pig throats, chicken hearts on a stick, and a variety of entrails

   fruit juices made while you watch are a VERY popular drink

They are sort of Smoothies with more taste and attitude.  I do not know what the odd fruit on the left is.

We also strolled around munching on pink guavas sprinkled with palm dust. (see below)   Very delicious!

Joel takes a break and has fresh squeezed sugar cane juice, heated and flavored with ginger.  Note the cane crusher to left.

(note to my doctor---I only drank a little of this--my pancreas is still in good shape.)

Below, sticky rice, a widely used type of rice, is pressed into wood molds along with sausage and parsley.

 

Below, pork and cilantro dumplings are made, and cooked at a popular dumpling chain.

 

Candied cherries, and candied strawberries are popular, but so are--candied tomatoes of all sizes!

  Street scene along the edge of the night market

Opera stage across from the temple---The TV vendors have taken over the area below the stage!