Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Mystery of the Missing Egg Woman

Taiwan is fraught with food carts. Americans generally only buy the occasional hot dog from sidewalk vendors. Here they sell pretty much anything you can find on a restaurant menu. At the base of my apartment building there are always a few folks cooking up something. One particular vendor has been invaluable to me. The woman sells an egg thingy that's wrapped up in a doughy tortilla-type thing. I don't really like the doughy thing, so a few months ago I asked her if she would just fry me up some eggs (she knows/understands enough English to get what I was saying). She cooked 'em up and they were perfect. Ever since then, I have been having her make me 3 eggs at a time about 3 or 4 times a week, it's heavenly. The thing that always got me was she only charged me NT$15 for three eggs (that's about 45 cents American). I always felt guilty because she was working hard and I thought she should charge more...she wouldn't take more money. I tried to pay her more several times and she refused every time.

Last Sunday, I was on my way home from my weekly bakery run and she was out front with her cart. Earlier in the day I had decided to get her something to show my appreciation. She always has a pleasant smile and a wave for me when I come home from work. She seems like a really kind person. Anyhow, I approached her cart and gave her a little chocolate cake that I always buy from the bakery. It's about the size of a twinkie and extremely tasty. She didn't want to take it but I insisted. I waved goodbye to her, went up to my apartment, and I haven't seen her since!

Folks here have very different ways of doing things. Perhaps I offended her in some way? I don't know. I feel lousy about the whole situation. I hope I haven't caused a problem. Maybe she has a freaky husband who thinks I am trying to make a move on his wife? Heck, I was just happy to have such yummy eggs!!

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