unrelenting torrent of pics from Taipei: shopping edition
Answer: Usually, no. I've been traveling for so long that my acquisitive impulse has been crushed like a hideous Taiwanese bead sculpture in an overstuffed suitcase.
I mean, Facebank, you're cute and all, but you're not coming home with me.
This Korean device is meant to prevent the wearer from engaging in a classic pan-Asian pastime: dozing off in public. I slipped it out of the package, turned it on, and clipped it to my ear; it vibrated vigorously at random intervals and did seem like it would effectively keep me from falling asleep if I were wont to do so [I'm not].
Asian quarter machines are so much more advanced than the bacteria-infested dispensers of matte and sticky Hot Tamales, Bonz and Homies we have in the United States. From the machine on the right, you get a seed, a tiny pot and a ziploc bag of soil for NTD20=US$0.61. An attempt to actually grow the thing would probably result in Sea Monkeys-style failure and death, but I'll never find out for sure because the machine was jammed.
This machine was also jammed.
I bought two keychains. The one on the left is electronic bubble wrap: you push the buttons and it makes a popping sound. It's a good idea, but the sound it makes is too long, the POP too delayed; it's more like "squeakyPOP! squeakyPOP!" than the straight-up, satisfyin' "POP!" of real bubble wrap.
This is the packaging from the other keychain. It's supposed to look like a pull-tab on a cardboard box: you pull on it and hear a ripping sound followed by the noise of whatever you've just unleashed from Pandora's FedEx envelope. I think there's something wrong with mine: once I turn it on, it never shuts up; random ripping sounds are interspersed with screams and trumpets and cuckoo clocks and wolf whistles and a few unidentifiables (sandpaper? garbage trucks?).