My first two visits to Taipei were with shared accommodation just of Zhongshiao East Road. The lack of parking with cars positioned on the corners of narrow lanes, outside the many trendy restaurants was noteworthy.
Pampered pets was another visual novelty. I’ve since seen small dogs in baby strollers being pushed around the city. Cats don’t seem to figure as strongly as pets as they do in Australia. I would not pat most cats in Taiwan either, unless they were house-trained, clean domestic versions.
As for dogs, the Swiss herbalist Dr. Vogel states in his health guide to the tropics, “If a dog licks your hand or body, wash yourself immediately”. I suppose the good doctor was considering the risk of rabies – which is not present in Australia.
There is an epidemic of rabies nearby on the Indonesian island on Bali at present.
It’s interesting how local police issue fines to the illegal street vendors, in-a -way an unofficial license fee perhaps. The vendors offer good prices and have become part of the charm that is Taipei. A blanket or sheet covers the squatters designated area. Goods are displayed on the ground or on fold able tables.
Markets in Australia are weekend hobbies for the stall holders. Nothing in Australia compares with the markets in Taiwan – however with any market the rule of buyer beware always applies.