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Around Taipei – Ximen

Started off my evening with a cup of Nicaraguan pour over from Beauty Coffee. It’s literally a hole in the wall, one man operation. He roasts, packages, and serves everything himself from a tiny corner shop that’s open to the sidewalk.

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I love that the coffee cup lids have options like cold cup lids in the states.ximen-3

I took the metro to Ximen not really knowing what to expect. It’s 2 stops from where I’m staying and it’s a completely different world. I hadn’t even stepped away from the metro entrance when I was bombarded by sights, sounds, smells.ximen-4

Instead of looking at a map I just went along with the crowd and checked out the big shops as well as the small. In between the larger streets were alleys that also had small shops that sold unique things only found at that location. I was surprised by the amount of creepers sold everywhere and Doc Martins. Some of the shoes were the real deal but others, when you flipped them over, stated quite clearly “Made In China”.ximen-5

There was a lot of street food, and I tried a few things that I was comfortable with or had heard were delicious. Obviously the roasted corn reminded me of Mexican street food, if only I’d brought a bottle of mayo and some hot sauce…ximen-6

There were a lot of vendors selling these as well. They’re cherry tomatoes dipped in boiled sugar and left to harden with a nice sweet candy shell. They also had tiny dipped strawberries and some cherry tomatoes with seaweed(?) in between each.ximen-7

Walking down random alleys, I ran into this guy fixing shoes and selling shoelaces.ximen-8

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I also found the toilet themed restaurant! I’ll have to go inside one of these days.ximen-10

Since it was the last day of the New Year, all of the shops had some really good deals going on, 25-50% off a lot of merchandise. I decided to try on some jeans and this was the inside of the dressing room door. Classy. Another place I went to, the inside of the changing rooms were covered by photos of life sized penises. ximen-11

Having gone in and out of strange alleys, I had no idea where I was, but found a few spots with pretty cool graffiti.ximen-12  ximen-14  ximen-15  ximen-16  ximen-17

The shops on the outskirts of the main area were pretty cheap. There was a shop where all of the shoes were $200 ($6.60USD). I was gonna grab some pretty cool fake creepers but they didn’t have my size :/ Apparently my food is kind of small…

The funnest things I saw were the t-shirts, socks, and accessories.
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I wandered around for 4 hours and I don’t think I even got to see everything. A few times I came upon the same intersection from a different angle and it made me feel as if I were in some crazy labyrinth, unaware of how it is that I ended up in the same spot again. My usually good sense of direction took a vacation in Ximen.

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