Mid-Autumn in Danshui

Boats, originally uploaded by Patrick Cowsill.

I wrote this for Culture Taiwan. As usual, I am mixing up Fort Santiago with Fort Domingo. For some reason, I can't get the two straight, a constant brain fart and I admit I still don't know the name. I'll have to google it once again: http://www.culture.tw/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1903&Itemid=156


Anonymous said...

AGE is Japanese name for deep fried Tofu. The original “Tamsui AGE” shop I remembered was a small one next to 龍山寺on 重建街. The old man, owner/chef sells 2 items only, AGE and 肉粽. The store has disappeared long time ago and surprise to see nowadays so many restaurants claim their stores are the real original.
The original “Tamsui Fish Ball” was handmade every day by Mr. No-Sen-A (老生仔); his stand is in front of the Mazo Temple (媽祖廟) attached to the public market. It was so popular, always run out of stock by the early afternoon. The real Tamsui Fish Ball is not chewy but crunchy; you will like it from the first bite. The old man also sells only 2 items, fish ball and steamed pork bun; they are the best combination as the after school snack that we have all enjoyed.
The best way to enjoy is ride a rowing boat and watches the mid-autumn moon from the Tamsui River. The BBQ is newly introduced as the result of Americanization. So are the chocolate presents on the Valentine day. The beautiful Tamsui that I remembered has spoiled by the tourism. It is sad that my old Tamsui only lives in my memory.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"The BBQ is newly introduced as the result of Americanization."

I don't think people are allowed to BBQ along the first wharf in Danshui. I didn't see anyone doing it. I don't think you can BBQ on Old Street either - way too many people.

The BBQ has already been localized. In Taiwan, it's done on hibachis that are about 10 cm. off the ground. Taiwanese people will crouch down to cook and eat. They are quite comfortable to do so too. In the US, the only people who crouch are baseball catchers. We find crouching uncomfortable.

Taiwanese also wrap the food they're cooking in tin-foil and they don't slather BBQ sauce over everything (which is cool; I hate the stuff).

Anonymous said...

“Crouch” reminds me “Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon.” It was a great movie, so was “Red Cliff.” “Mango” is nothing compared to them.
Westerners rarely do crouching as Patrick pointed out. They either do one knee down to ground as preparing for goal kick at football game or put both hands on the ground with Spiderman style. In this side of the world, crouching starts with the potty training; they crouch at least once every day. Westerners seem unable to master the skill of pooping with crouch style. Once we went across the mountain with a westerner, a guy among the porters was assigned to carry the wooden toilet all the way. It was a surprise to see there were both crouching style and sitting style toilets at the department stores in Japan today.
By the way, some tribes of the aborigine in Taiwan do not poop with crouch style; it was described in the book that they do the business by lowering their hips half way down. It is a surprise to lean that the Eskimo husky can discharge while running.

marc said...

Hi Patrick, FYI, I posted a bunch of old Damshui pictures at taipics.com. You are welcome to use any photo you like in future stories. Also, while digging around the Life Mag collection of photos, I came across a few other Fort San Domingo pics from 1949. It hasn't changed much, there is one pic that is of the Danshui itself, 60+ years ago.
link1, link2, link3, link4, link5, link6

I put a link to your site in the links page as I enjoy reading your take on Taiwan history.

Patrick Cowsill said...


I'll probably take you up on the pic offer. I'm supposed to do another story on Danshui next week. Thanks for the link. Cheers.

Patrick Cowsill said...

Marc, do you (or anyone) know where I can get an 1860 map of Monga, specifically one that locates John Dodd's tea-firing plant? If so, much appreciated.