How do I buy thee? Let me count the ways

Updated: Jun 6

Food buying adventures while teaching in Taiwan

I lived briefly in Taiwan to teach English to children of farmers. My tiny apartment in Huwei had no kitchen. Like 90 percent of people in my town, I had to go out and buy all my meals. Mostly I ate street food. Like the locals.

I did not speak a word of Mandarin other than ni hao (hello) and xie xie (thank you). But after a few hungry days, I had figured out ways to feed and care for myself. I stood there in the street and watched the owner whip up the food in front of customers, observing the different varieties of dishes made by a particular stall. I made a mental note of what would probably taste good.

I grew up on Chinese food, so many of the dishes