Friday, 26 November 2010

This is Taipei

[A pair of street vendors waiting to cross the busy 忠孝敦化 intersection. ]

Street-vending is nominally illegal. If the police pay a visit while you are browsing merchandise, you are likely to find yourself abandoned by the vendors, standing on a street corner, with the dress you were fingering still in your hands, staring awkwardly at fellow shoppers in the same predicament, uncertain of how to proceed, as the vendors themselves snatch up the majority of their goods and tear away down the street. If they are caught their goods can be confiscated and they may be fined heftily. This is no deterrent though, and every day on the busy streets of Taipei, it's business as usual. The excitement beats the hell out of shopping in a mall, as do the prices.

I like the vitality here - we strive and thrive.