The garden at the National Palace Museum stays open an hour later than the museum buildings, so I decided to head over and find a place to rest my poor feet, since I had hours of roaming around the night market planned ahead.
I noticed a bunch of people gathering to the side of the pavilion so I decided to see what they were staring at:
Only to find out they were starting a feeding frenzy. Koi fish really creep me out. I think it's the way they open and close their mouths. But really, doesn't this picture slightly disturb you?
I ran away and found a bench to read on. Check out my new $5 sandals!
I took the bus back to the MRT station and decided to walk to Shilin Night Market. On the way I spotted a sign that made me consider for a moment whether or not I would be crazy to come back to Taipei on the 17th:
In case you can't recognize him - that's Richard Marx! Why yes, I DID just turn 30, why do you ask?
I realized I must be nearby when I saw this crowd of people waiting in front of a bunch of delicious-smelling food stands:
Later I would find out that this is just a "light" crowd. I wandered and wandered and wandered the maze of alleys. The area was packed with food vendors and stores and people in the middle of the alleys selling all sorts of trinkets laid out on blankets. This is so they can gather up everything quickly and scamper off when the police come. Same with the people selling clothes on rolling racks. I learned this the hard way when I nearly lost a toe.
I never did figure out why this turkey was here:
Oyster omelet. Um, wow.
Also delicious. At that point I think it had been 4 months since I'd had any fruit that wasn't an apple, clementine, strawberry, or banana, so I was pretty excited to be eating something that had TWO colors:
I was already stuffed by the time I saw this guy, but the insane crowd of people waiting around swayed me to wait. It was worth it.
Apparently, I had only been roaming around part of the night market - as I walked toward the MRT station I noticed a huge "building" that said "Shilin Night Market" and was essentially a crazy food court with stall after stall selling all forms of stinky tofu, oyster omelet, boba, fruit shakes, fried things, and noodles. I'm kind of glad I didn't see this at first, because the sheer size/number of different food options was so overwhelming my head would probably explode just trying to decide what to eat. Or more likely my stomach would explode just eating everything in sight. I decided it didn't matter, since I would come back here with my family someday. Soon, hopefully.
More pictures from the day here.