This is the third post in my People of the Night Photo Project that I'll be working on over the next few months. In this post, I am continuing to introduce some of the vendors at the Zhongli Night Market (中壢夜市), a large open-air night market near where I live. Each post will contain five shots and will introduce a little bit about what these people do for a living. If you haven't seen the previous two posts in the series click the following links. Thanks for coming and enjoy!
1. Fresh Fruit (新鮮水果)
Taiwan is often referred to as a fruit kingdom and to that effect, there is an ample supply of various types of tropical fruits with availability that changes with the different seasons. The variety and price of fruit here is amazing and as a way of being polite to guests, fruit is always offered. This specific vendor is a busy one offering up bags of freshly sliced fruit on the go to the people visiting the night market and no matter what you buy, it's always a cheap and healthy snack.
2. Japanese Steak (火焰骰子牛)
One of the latest fads in the night market is a kind of Japanese steak which is cut into cubes and cooked extremely quickly over a BBQ grill, but also blow-torched to speed up the cooking time. Quite a few people in Taiwan don't actually like to eat beef, and of those who do like to eat it, the majority of them will only eat it if it is between medium or well-done. This kind of steak usually comes off the grill at medium and to me seems a bit too pink in the middle for most Taiwanese people, but since it is a popular new food, there are lines of people waiting to try it.
3. Rice Wine Snails (燒酒螺)
This stall is kind of a strange one to me. The vendor is selling various kinds of snails that have been left in rice wine for a period of time to marinate. They come at various levels of spice ranging from mild to very spicy and if you want to try them before buying, the owner will always let you try to choose the best flavour. They are usually eaten as a snack that goes hand in hand with drinking beer with friends - so if you buy some, you likely won't be eatIng them while you're at the night market.
4. Fortune Teller (算命者)
This is another kind of traditional fortune teller, but this one uses more ancient Daoist methods to come to his conclusions. The services offered by this particular fortune teller are more for parents wanting to know if their child is intelligent, well-behaved, of good health and whether the child's name is suitable or not. In Taiwan, it is common for people later in life to actually change their names as their given name can be deemed unlucky later in life. This particular fortune teller advertises that if his predictions aren't accurate, that his service will be given free of charge. I should have consulted with him before opening this website!
5. Seasonal Clothing (季節衣服老闆)
Night Markets are great for food, but probably even better for families with children looking to save a bit of money. You can buy clothes at the night market for a fraction of the price that you could elsewhere and the available of cheap accessories is also pretty useful. This particular stall sells winter accessories like gloves, hats and scarves and will ultimately change to summer accessories when the seasons change. I like this particular shot as the boss is looking off into the distance likely wondering when she's going to have to bring out her summer products now that Spring has arrived.