Jiufen Old Street

Waiting. Waiting for a number. Number 1062, the bus number that will take me across Taiwan to a picture of something I once saw, an idea I’ve followed here. Is this a good idea? The number appears, I drop my money into a box, and squeeze my way into a crowded bus, standing room only. An hour later, I am surrounded by lush, green hills, and the bus pulls drives into a painting. A painting of an old city on a hill, colorful temples, a market like a maze that stretches deep into the village, winding roads that travel up the mountains, weaving through the city, contrasted by a piercing blue sea below. Continue reading “Jiufen Old Street”

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Malagasy Market

Tsis, misoatra. No, thank you. I don’t want to buy, just look. To feel another culture, to wonder around the market as if I belonged there, as if I lived there and needed something. Hands reach out to me as I navigate the market aisles in an old cement warehouse, offering me spices, perfume, fruits. Tsis misoatra. I smell the perfume in homemade plastic bottles, the spices – vanilla, fresh from Madagascar. A room full of bright colors, life, smells of spices, sweat, fish, incense captivates me. A women sits on the floor staring into her daydream, a pile of greenish oranges splayed out next to her on a cloth. What are her dreams?  Continue reading “Malagasy Market”

Muzungu at Maramba Market

“Muzungu!” I know that word. I want to look up- to look at the people calling to me, the stalls with clothes, vegetables, fruit, spices, but I look down at my feet, at the dirt ground. I think I might fall on the small, uneven rocky path I’m sharing with hundreds of other confident locals (who don’t need to look down when they are walking). I’m like a ghost walking through the village market. People stare at me, talk to me, follow me, a man stops so close to me that I have to stop abruptly, almost running into him. Continue reading “Muzungu at Maramba Market”