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The Quest for shoes

The quest for a new pair of shoes for my daughter took us to the streets behind Tunghai (Tōkai) University 東海大学 in T'aichung (Taichū) 台中. It wasn't my first choice to hunt for footwear, especially in sizes for young children, but my wife hadn't been there in quite a while, and so that was that. Here's Amber at a tea stand on the way out there:

The narrow streets of Tunghai were a mad jumble of stores, signs, people, cars, scooters, odors, power lines and noise - in other words, a typical Taiwanese street scene. Amber was feeding off the energy generated by all of this, but I spent a lot of time worrying about the motorized vehicles that were brushing by us on the sidewalk-less road. Apparently, it would be too much to ask that a popular shopping area like this one be turned into a pedestrian-only zone on Sundays - that would only make things less 熱鬧. Safety is a such a bore:

At one point, the Kaminoge family detoured into the nearby university in search of a restroom:

Unsurprisingly, as this area caters mainly to a young crowd, the language of Japanese was often employed to add that extra layer of coolness, and thus entice the shoppers. Sometimes it was used in the case of trilingual signs, like this one:

Other establishments gave themselves Japanese names, with or without the actual Japanese script:

And yet others had something to say in 日本語...sort of:

It took some searching, but we were finally able to find a pair of shoes that met my daughter's exacting specifications. It helped that the new clodhoppers had a picture of Dora the Explorer on them, and, for bonus points, lights that flash when the wearer runs or stomps her feet:

Mission accomplished!



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December 2011


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