What a blessing it was to be able to go to the Luodong night market with all the other volunteers. It was Ruth’s last night volunteering here, so we were politely asked if we could go out in celebration. We were planning to take two taxis, but Ted kindly offered to drop us off and pick us up. Even in the short time we spent with him the the car, I could sense the huge amounts of godly wisdom he has to share. Can’t wait to hear more of it.
I had heard about Ted’s wild driving, and it lived up to my expectations. Adding to the excitement was the fact that the van door wasn’t shut all the way, and I could see the land whizzing by through the crack. Apparently, in Taiwan, it’s totally fine to drive down the middle of a two-lane road. You’re dodging mopeds, bicycles, walkers, dogs and cats while doing this. Sometimes the road would go down to one lane, and I guess you just have to decide if you’ll squeeze through in time or wait for oncoming traffic.
Ted dropped the seven of us off at the entrance to the night market. Showhwa and her 10-year-old daughter met up with us for the night. This was another blessing, since Showhwa had been there often and knew what prices were reasonable.
This is how I’ve been describing the night market: Imagine an alley, with shops and vendors on both sides. Imagine the busyness of Times Square. Now add the factor of mopeds speeding through in both directions amidst all those people. And it smelled like the state fair. Most of the stores were selling clothes, jewelry and purses. There were some food spots, but no one selling produce or flowers like you’d see at a farmer’s market. I saw one vendor selling underwear, bras and pajamas. Most of the food was unrecognizable — except for the bright pink hot dogs I heard about! And there was a cart selling fried bugs. (No, I did not indulge.)
Everything was very cheap… Shoes for five dollars. A dress for seven dollars. A hoodie for ten dollars. And our favorite: scarves for three dollars! I spent about 15 dollars and got a zip-up hoodie, a scarf, and a zippered fabric pouch. As I suspected, no one had women’s shoes to fit my size 9.5 feet. (But, what a sweet gift — I had asked one of the aunties where she got her shoes after noticing her equally “large” feet. She said she only could find them online. I think she could sense my disappointment, because two days later, she brought over a pair of shoes she’d only worn twice to give to me. And they’re cute! I plan to wear them to dinner soon to show her and thank her again.)
We spent a couple hours in the night market before we had to meet up with Ted. Our last stops were to load up on green tea (thanks, Su Li!) and get McDonald’s. I’m embarrassed by how excited I was to eat McDonald’s… But really, I’m still not loving the food here. I got a medium-sized French fry, which is comparable to a value size in the U.S., and a Sprite. It was a great little getaway, albeit for only a few hours. I’m so appreciative of Ted saving us a big hassle by driving, and for Showhwa meeting up with us to show us around.