Now that you have survived the thunderstorms and shared your findings, we are asking you to brave the rain once more to finish the job. Return to the most promising site to finish the documentation in preparation for your design proposal.
As we headed to the train station on our way out of Taichung the other day, we passed through a very hectic and crowded morning market. Dozens of scooters piled high with boxes and bags of produce squeezed and slipped their way in and out of pedestrians as trucks loaded with crates of fruits and vegetables honked their way through the crowd. As we weaved our way through the maze of people and scooters, Cliff, one of our Taiwanese classmates asked me if we had anything similar to these markets in the states. I told him about the rising popularity of what we call farmer’s markets in the states. I explained that these markets were similar in that they are regular events at which local farmers and vendors sell their produce and goods to the public and that they usually occur in the early hours of the day. I also pointed out some of the differences to Cliff: farmer’s markets usually only occur at most a few times a week, whereas the morning markets are open every single day in Taiwan. Also, whereas many Taiwanese rely entirely on the morning market for the purchase of ingredients for everyday meals, very few Americans get even a third of their produce and meat from farmer’s markets. The atmosphere of a farmer’s market is very different as well. Whereas it seems that the daily trip to the morning market for a Taiwanese person is something that is simply a requirement of everyday life and is carried out as such - many Americans who are fortunate to live in a city with a farmer’s market, treat it almost as a leisure activity - more akin almost to the way Taiwanese treat a trip to the night market - an opportunity to spend time with friends, casually browse, and in general, just “hang out.” This makes for a somewhat relaxed feel at most farmer’s markets, whereas the morning markets seems to be very chaotic and fast-paced spaces. These are just a few of the differences that exist between the two types of markets - but it is interesting to look at the two activities and the corresponding spaces side by side.
As we exited the morning market, Cliff noted that the government had plans to “redevelop” the area immediately surrounding the station, including the area occupied by the morning market. The plans basically involve the leveling of the current infrastructure to make way for new buildings for housing and business. If these plans come to pass, the obvious questions are: What will happen to those whose livelihoods depend on selling their goods at the morning market? Will the social sphere created by the morning market find new life elsewhere in the city, or will it be completely wiped out?