A couple times while we were in Taipei, Iris and I went to the Ximending shopping district, sometimes called the Harajuku of Taiwan, a place where youth, consumerism, and culture collide in corridors of bright lights and gaudy colours. We walked through the many shops and arcades, amongst street performers, shoppers, and shopkeepers. We saw these tricycles, apparently advertising escort services with internally lit panels.
Iris led me to a shop that sold shaved ice flavored with yam syrup, with sides of mochi, tapioca balls, and sweetened wheat. It may sound strange, but it was the perfect treat after a hot and humid day. While we ate, a small brigade of junior high schoolgirls giggled and squealed while apparently losing all restraint and common sense for the use of blush.
I don’t understand how a girl can never have enough handbags or shoes, but I’m a pretty good sport about shopping. Iris showed me this handbag with the Japanese word for bicycle, written in hiragana (phonetic characters). She thought it was cute, but gave it the thumbs dumb because its strap was “retarded”.