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.
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.
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.