Posts Tagged ‘Stinky Tofu’

Day 4: Filipino Post-Apocalyptic Mall

After sleeping off my night at FuBar I called my friend Brittany who’d just gotten back from Hong Kong. I took a taxi over to her side of town and she showed me around the city. She took me to Taiwan Mobile and got me a sim card for my iPhone, allowing me to have a Taiwanese number. After the phone store we walked around some of the more seedy parts of Taichung, which finally culminated with the Filipino shopping mall.

If I remember correctly, Brittany told me that the mall was once Taiwanese owned but there was a fire or some sort of damage caused and they abandoned it out of fear of bad spirits, ghosts, etc.  Anyhow, that’s when the Filipinos moved in and set up shop. The mall is now filled with different merchants who sell anything and everything although it’s mostly the types of things you’d see in any American flea market. What separates this place from an American flea market is the setting. The mall is around nine stories however the top two were closed when I went. Brittany told me that there used to be a disco on the top floor but that parts of the floor had holes in it now. We went to one floor that had a little grocery store with a side area where old men were singing karaoke. Another floor was sort of like a movie theater except that you rent the movie from them and then watch it in a private room, kinda shady…

After the mall we walked around a bit more, passing by a lot of little shops where we saw all sorts of weird food for sale. We saw turtles for sale and we weren’t sure if they were marked as pets or for making soup. We saw a HUGE hog, as in around 500 lbs. huge, standing inside a motorcycle repair shop. I  thought it was some kind of furniture at first glance.  Later on we stopped at a restaurant where I ordered some salad, which was nice because I had eaten no vegetables and mostly junk food for the past couple days.

I ended up taking a taxi back to my place where I set up my phone and got changed.  Pretty soon I was in a taxi again headed back to Brittany’s to meet up with her and her boyfriend for dinner. We ended up going to a Taiwanese beer house/patio, which was amazing. You order some food and the waitresses come around to bring you new beers periodically. It was nice to sit outside, relax, and take in some of my surroundings especially while eating some fried rice and fried shrimp. We were lucky enough to be seated across from some older european and taiwanese businessmen who ended up being great guys. They bought us a few rounds of beer and also introduced me to stinky tofu, which I dare say may be the most adventurous thing I have ever eaten. It has the most pungent smell that can perk someone’s nose from a distance; I mean it really permeates the air.  Anyhow, I’d already been told several times before that it doesn’t taste as bad as it smells. Since I was drinking and experiencing multicultural peer-pressure, I figured what the hell. I ate only one piece, but that’s all it took for me to know that I never want to eat it again. It wasn’t horrible or vomit-inducing as I’d expected but it was hard to swallow.


Yeah, I ate that. See wikipedia for more info on it: Stinky Tofu


– Cal