Night market in Tainan, 2019
May 26, 2020

Market

Haze across the city this morning, giving the skyline the effect of a painted backdrop. Warm weather is coming at last. I’m fantasizing about an open-air city this summer: a sprawling network of night markets and bazaars that reclaim the streets and devour the cars. Maybe something good can come from this pandemic.

I dream about the sweaty Saturday night energy of the markets in Taiwan where the ancient ritual of the bazaar meets the neon and loudspeakers of a cyberpunk Trading Zone. Beef noodle soup, cosmetics, and cellphones. Diced melons, jewelry, and flatscreens. Everything a person could need, all ad hoc and on the fly. She bought a wooden comb, I bought a smoked plum juice, and together we watched an old man with a cigarette on his lip auction off a Bluetooth headset, lawn furniture, and an enormous stuffed panda in ten seconds flat.


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Each night in 2020 I'm writing a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I want to etch these days into my memory before I forget them. Before the world changes completely.
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