The old market in Hsinchu

Hsinchu is a town in northern Taiwan, about one hour south of Taipei. It’s home to the Hsinchu Science Park where once Taiwan’s semiconductor industry launched its way to the top. Hsinchu isn’t a fancy or touristy place. Mostly engineers and their families live, eat and work there. And I was one of them more than ten years ago.

I lived in a two bedroom apartment on Bei Da Road in the middle of the city and close to shopping, eating and drinking since this is most there is in Hsinchu.

The old market was located quite close to my home but I didn’t go there very often. The lanes were dark and crowded. Meat and fish would just kick around all day without refrigeration. Many stores sold dry foods which I couldn’t even identify.

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The two storey market is part of an old apartment building which must be a pretty large complex. However looking up and seeing the fenced apartment windows is a bit scary. The place is clean just old. I mean just very old. I never dared to eat from the little food stalls since I knew where the chicken spent the last couple of hours. But than again, it’s cooked …

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Two or three times each year I go back to Hsinchu on business. My schedule is usually so busy that I hardly go and stroll around. The first days I’m usually hit by jet lag and than I usually can’t wait to go home again. During the previous visit I went down to the city center on a Sunday afternoon and took some pictures with the Hasselblad. The market was just closing down, most stores were already closed and others were going to shortly.

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I quite enjoyed the almost empty lanes and the sparse action of the last people closing store or leaving. It wasn’t just the quiet Sunday afternoon but the the feeling that places like this are slowly dying out and with them some history. So, feeling sentimental I wanted to get the black cat in the empty lane but she was smarter than me and ran.

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