I recently visited the Shilin Night Market here in Taipei. It is one of several of the night markets for which Taipei is famous. I reside here at the National Yang Ming University located on Yang Ming Mountain and the nearest MRT station is Shipai. The Shilin Night Market is conveniently located near to Jiantan MRT Station which is a mere two stops down from Shipai. After a fifteen-minute walk down to Shipai Station from my dormitory, I boarded the train and headed to the night market. As I neared my stop at Jiantan Station, I looked out of the train window and could already see the bright lights of the night market. This sight has the effect of lifting one’s spirits and puts one in the mood to explore and look around. The street leading into the night market was bustling with people. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, with some carrying their shopping bags and some munching on snacks they had just purchased. I saw quite a few young friendly couples who smiled warmly at me as I passed by.

Everywhere I looked there were shops and stalls selling all kinds of items from clothes, to shoes, to hair accessories. I found all these things very exciting and was tempted to buy so many things. I was hard pressed to remember that I am a poor student who must stick to her monthly budget. I walked for several minutes, first on the back street, then swung around to the main street and headed toward the food area where immediately, my senses were assaulted with the smell of delicious foods of all kinds such as roasted sausage, fried chicken, and dumplings. I was looking for a particular vendor who sells some of the most delicious pork dumplings that I have eaten here in Taipei. I found her and ordered two dumplings on which I put some hot sauce. They were quite delicious as usual, but the sauce was a bit spicy, so I decided to get some fresh cold orange juice to wash it down. Now, I had the problem that my hands were sticky and greasy and smelled like pork dumplings. And, since I was not yet ready to go home, I crossed the street and went into the Mister Donut shop to borrow the bathroom and get my hands cleaned. The donuts looked so delicious, and I was tempted to buy a few and carry them back to the dormitory with me. However, I resisted this temptation, crossed the street and went back into the night market.

I continued to walk around for another half and hour before heading back to the MRT Station. I was exhausted by this time, but still had to walk up Yang Ming Shan from the MRT Station. I consoled myself by thinking that at least I was getting good exercise and burning off some calories from those delicious pork dumplings. I finally arrived back in my room where I made myself some hot tea and sat down to read and relax. I reflected on my fun trip to the night market vowing to return soon and this time, not just to window shop, but to go on a big shopping spree!