Despite enormous economic progress, the Taiwanese are still and likely will always be famous for their nightmarkets. Here you’ll find a collection of items you won’t ever find in any departmet store, or even an entire downtown city: stinky tofu, switchblades, television remotes, nunchucks, fresh turtle heads (for medicine), dildos, BB Guns, Super Nintendo clones, fortune tellers, candy, live snakes, UFO machines, PR-47s and mahjong kits are just some of the things you can find.
Each propane tank weighs about twenty-five pounds empty, and well over a hundred when full.
A man in his fifties spins two propane tanks simultaneously across the concrete. One cotton-gloved hand on each tank’s top, they angle a modest 15degrees with the floor but his rhythm for each hand is perfect, timed with his steps, and yet, allowing for the improvisation necessary when he hits a bump on the road. The Taiwanese “Night Markets” are too crowded for delivery trucks to pass, and even though scooters are the most common workhorse in the country, the tanks are too bulky and dangerous to transport through the crowds on a vehicle.
He does it without any effort, and when he reaches his destination, he smiles as he accepts payment of a few blue bills.
A few streets away is a man in an expensive suit on his cellphone, in his twenties, swearing as he works his way through the crowd at the crosswalk.