I was too busy closing the deal to take any pictures, silly me, but there will be pictures soon enough.
I stared at this sign for a long time, but had to conclude that "Coffee Geek & burger" is actually not some kind of weird Chinglish. I think they were actually expressing that it is a burger place for people who are really into coffee? I'm not sure, but anyway, it's a good example of the shady walkway phenomenon.
I wandered around the little neighborhoods near my campus, and got lured in by a grungy little shop that sold nothing but douhua 豆花 (sweet silken tofu pudding, which I love). And you have to admit that this is a fine-looking bowl of douhua. It has ice, brown sugar syrup, and boiled peanuts. So nom.
Of course, if you were fastidious, you might find the surroundings a little ... dubious. But I am not fastidious. I don't believe in excess purity of any kind, not even a little bit. Neither do these other fine devotees of douhua. And at 35 NT (about $1), what a bargain!
Another discovery of my wanderings was a mysteriously disused water park. This was really disappointing. It's a great place for a water park! And it was a brutally hot day! What not have a water park here? If you cleaned it up and made jets of water fountain out, people would surely come.
Instead, it contained only a few depressed teenagers of both sexes, moping in solitary misery in the shady pavilions. (Not pictured.) What went wrong!? On the way back to the MRT station, I got some baozi 包子 (dumplings), one with cabbage and one with leek. I guess I got them because people were standing in line at the little stand, a funny positive feedback loop phenomenon. You think, if other people are standing in line for it, it must be worth having. They were pretty good.
I will say that despite all my good experiences here, the solitude is taking its toll a bit. I probably should have just skipped dinner. I ended up going out to look for some, but there was nothing I wanted. This used to happen to me in Beijing sometimes too. I'd end up wandering around and around not ever being able to settle on anything because of being more hungry for companionship than for food. I walked for over an hour.
Finally I ended up at the night market again, where I got some soup with "humane shrimp." I'm not sure what humane shrimp are made of, but it's not shrimp. It's some kind of vegetarian product. One of the more successful fake meats I've had though: they really have both taste and texture that is almost exactly like shrimp, especially in a strong-tasting sauce or soup. This particular soup was kind of mediocre, but when I'm in the wandering "hungry ghost" mood, nothing goes right for me culinarily speaking, so I feel I got off light. At least I didn't end up with something truly disgusting.
I also got a waffle-like dessert that seems to be fashionable now. There's a pun involved with the name of it, at least some types. It's something like this: the Chinese word for cake (like, bakery cake) is actually "egg cake" (dangao 蛋糕), I guess to distinguish it from something like sweet rice cake. Anyway, now on the street you can buy something that is advertised as a "chicken egg cake" (jidan gao 雞蛋糕). But they aren't cake at all; they're waffle batter cooked in egg-shaped waffle-iron moulds! I had been eying them for some time, so I decided to try them. I actually got a smaller one, which is not a pun and just called 雞蛋仔 (I'm not sure of the pronunciation, think it means something like "chicken egglets"). It was a waffle-sheet of little "eggs," kind of like bubble wrap, with each bubble about the size of a grape. You can pull them off one by one.
The fellow who made them earnestly assured me that the outside was crispy and the inside was "QQ." I gave a blank look, but he didn't seem able to explain. I felt kind of bad about myself, since I didn't understand this "QQ" at all. Maybe I wasn't even hearing it right? I tried the chicken egglets to see if I could figure it out empirically. The outside was definitely crispy and the inside was more soft, but not entirely soft? It was a really tasty snack food, by the way. When I got home, I googled it (thanks google!!) and there was a great description here: