Curious sights around town

The excitement of being in an exotic country is a heady, intoxicating potion.  I took to walking around quite frequently to get the lay of the land and also to see all the new sights.  Sometimes I got lost. Since I can’t read Chinese all the streets looked the same.  But it didn’t really bother me because I was seeing things that I had never seen before.  The traffic was quite intimidating at first but after I got over my fear of being run over by a scooter, I started to notice things like this:

As you can see, this is a full sized canine sitting calmly on the back rack of what appears to be a  250 year old bicycle.  The dog didn’t seem restless or uneasy. He was obviously used to being carted around.  As I walked past him, he just gave me a bored look as he was chauffeured away.  Lucky bastard had a ride while I had to hike it back.

Can you imagine this happening back home?  Would it be a traffic violation?  Would the  animal protection people say something about it?  Regardless, it’s a BICYCLE!  How fast can it go?  This guy must really love his pooch to give it a ride instead of having it trot alongside him.

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A common sight around here are fresh fruit and produce markets.  Taiwan has a great abundance of delicious fruit at very affordable prices.  On one particular stroll, I was looking for mangoes.  I never found them because it wasn’t even mango season, but I was unaware of this fact at the time.  BUT I did find this:

Do you see it?  It’s not the big watermelons (which are gigantic).  Nor is it those things that look like chopped wood (which is Taro, a root vegetable). Look closely:

Yes!!  There it is.  A big, fat cigarette dangling from the cashier’s mouth as he rings in his customers sale.  A sight you would probably NOT see inside a Zehrs or Sobeys.  The customer was standing there calmly as the cashier’s cigarette dropped ash onto the floor.  Never mind the unwrapped fruit and vegetables lying around.  I later came to realize that smoking is very common amongst the men.  I have since gotten used to seeing it, but fresh off the boat from Canada, this was a novelty for me.

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Wandering around the supermarket (we have an RT mart in town) is always good for learning something new.  I was just about to head out of the meat section when this caught my eye:

A black chicken.  At first I thought it might have been soaked for a long time in a dark tea (they do that with eggs).  But the more I looked at it, the more skeptical I was.  I had never seen anything like this in my life.  I was completely fascinated with it. I even considered buying one, and would have, but I don’t have a kitchen at home to cook it in.

So, of course, I had to go home and google it.  Did you know they have black chickens?

These are a few of the oddities I have observed.  I’m sure there will be more to come.

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