We piled into Chocolate’s CRV at around 9pm and picked up Hannah on the way. Boabi, Chocolate, Hannah, Cameron and I were on our way to meet another foreigner, Bryan, at the Jhubei Night Market, a sprawling market in Hsinchu’s sister city of Jhubei.

The entrance to a treasure trove of yum! and huh?.

First order of business: dinner. Boabi, Chocolate and I were starving, while the others claimed full stomachs. I asked Chocolate to order for me while I took some pictures.

A typical food vendor's stall. Health Code violations don't exist when there's no code in the first place.
To all the travel guide writers out there that warn against street food: I bet you also think you have a brain tumor if you get a headache. You're not going to die.

Night markets are great for eating cheap, fast food, and it’s thrown together right there in front of you.

Chocolate and I ordered sizzling slabs of meat while Boabi ordered... that. It's a fish.

Once we finished our $3 dinners, we set out to shop, play games, and nosh on snacks in the meandering aisles of the market.

Men's underwear. No guarantees on quality or impact on love life.
Cute summery sandals for sale in mid-October.
These shoes are having an identity crisis.

The six of us slowly made our way through throngs of people, occasionally stopping to buy or make fun of something. You have to be careful, though, because many Taiwanese know more English than you’d expect.

Boabi negotiating with a vendor.
Anyone want an adorable showerhead? The vendor also tried to sell Hannah and me toothbrush holders; each time he demonstrated how to use one, toothpaste went everywhere.
CRACK jeans: not available in white.
Flashback to when cell phones were just... phones.
Pretty sure I owned this phone over a decade ago.

We snacked a bit on fried mushrooms, salted cherry tomatoes, steamed mussels, and some other treats.

Pick your fruit or vegetable, and it's blended and served right then and there. MSG added upon request.

We stumbled upon the victim midway through our evening. It was dirty and was being mistreated in front of our very eyes. Our first reaction was to gasp, eyes wide. Then we laughed and added to the harassment.

It's crowded enough without a car in the middle of the aisle.
It's not like a night market is a surprise occasion. What idiot forgot to move his car?

After eating and shopping, it was time to waste some money on carnival-esque games.

I soon realized that I couldn't put the coin into the slot because it wasn't a slot. Wrong hole, genius.
Discussing strategies.
This is one of my favorite ways to waste money. It's ring toss! Where else can you win toilet paper?
We played "Shoot the balloons with the BB gun". I won two lollipops and a green tea juice box...
...while Bryan, a fellow Texan, won nunchucks.

On our way out, we came across the ultimate drinking game: lift a bottle to standing position using a string and a metal ring. It frustrated Cam and Bryan to the point of cursing.

Perfect for children of winos.

After a fun couple of hours, we headed home a little poorer, with full bellies and bags full of junk.

The glitz and glamour is gone during breakdown, when all you can see is garbage.