Taipei, 10.15am, and the temperature has already hit 33 degrees. As I walk down the middle of a pothole-strewn street in a remote neighbourhood I see a kid playing a Sopranos-themed pinball machine by the side of the road. He gives me an odd look, I give him an odd look, and we both go about our business. I turn down a side street only to be confronted by a group of hookers on mopeds. “Looking good time reasonable price?” they coo at me. “No thank you, it’s a bit early.” I apologise. I back-track and venture down an alley to find a black-toothed butcher grinning madly at me, trying to sell me his wares. A decapitated pig leg and trotter sits on the table, while a bucket nearby is filled with a huge grey heart, a long rope of intestines and other assorted dead bits. “You actually eat this shit?” I say to the butcher. He doesn’t understand me. I rejoin the main road and see a man pushing an old lady down the street on a trolley. She’s screaming at him in Mandarin. Maybe he’s not pushing her properly or something. I pop into a convenience store which smells like Asia and buy a bottle of Pocari Sweat, a Japanese Sports drink. Outside, I give the change to a Buddhist monk who thanks me kindly in English but with a very angry face. I’m confused.
All this happens within 15 minutes, and is my daylight introduction to Taipei after arriving the night before when I was followed home by a middle-aged prostitute.
Welcome to Taiwan.
Shittest arcade ever, pinball machine just out of sight. There was a brothel next door and the hooker in the green dress kept trying to get me to join her in that corridor.
Vegan food seller
The old guy’s wife was trying her best to sell me the heart. She kept picking it up and shoving it in my face. I mean what the hell am I gonna do with a heart? Just carry it about with me all day? I could have bought the pig’s leg and played some sort of golf/baseball game with bits of dead animal but I wasn’t in the mood.
Guy pushing irate woman on trolley. I thought his technique was pretty good. Obviously not.
Paranoid schizophrenic monk
As you can probably tell, Taiwan is mental. Stay tuned for more nonsense…