Taichung and Observation About Bubble Tea Shops

Taichung is, I think, the third largest city in Taiwan. It is about 40 minutes by fast train from Taipei airport. It is not exactly on the tourist map but it does have quite a few attractions. One of them is the Fengia Night Market, purportedly one of the largest and best in Taiwan. We stayed around this particular area. I would say the city centre used to be at the conventional train station, ie slow train. Fengia is on the west of the city and is now not far from the High Speed Train station. It also has a university closeby. This means it is quite crowded and popular on the weekends and most nights. This wasn’t always the case. This area used to be farmland. Now it is slowly encroached by tall residential buildings.

The one thing that struck me the most was the lack of bars or drinking establishments of the alcoholic sort. I walked round and round and couldn’t find one. You can certainly buy beers at the Family Marts or Seven Eleven, which seem to be at every street corner. I did see a lot of bubble tea shops. In the eating quarters, you could find one every 10 metres or so. This seemed odd to me until I realized what economic activity was happening. The eating places actually do not offer much of a menu for drinks. They mostly have complimentary tea or water but if you want something other than that, you would need to pop out and get a takeaway bubble tea of sorts. They symbiotically compliment one another.

One night I was walking around and was attracted by this doof doof noise. As I got closer I could see two dancing girls with loud kpop music and bright light. At first, I thought they were shooting a music video. As I got closer I realised it was the opening night of a juice shop.

Sex sells.

Taichung

Like I said before, this used to be farmland and as time got by for new development, townplanning was not a major focus. Other parts of the city have been razed for 6 lane main roads or big shopping complexes. This shop is on one of the main roads coming into this part of town. The road is barely wide enough for 2 lanes of each way traffic and the inside lane is occupied by speedy scooters and pedestrians because many parts of the pedestrian lanes are inaccessible or non existent. The strip between the shop and the red cone is the pedestrian lane. The crowd was on the traffic lane.

Yes. The dancing girls attracted mostly men. And yes, they were waiting for the buy one get one free drinks.

Taichung-2

As I found out much later, strippers are also hired at funerals to attract the largest possible crowd.

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