Since living in Tainan these 2 1/2 years and another 1 1/2 years in Taipei way back when, I have developed some preferences, some of which changed. I will share:
1. Night Market or Morning Market
I prefer the morning market. Of course I love night markets and having lived in Taipei have been to a variety of local ones (outside my apartment in Tamsui near the beach) and the big touristy, packed like sardines ones(Shilin). Night market food is always fun to try but except for Stinky Tofu I am not always satisfied. I love the morning markets, you see people buying what they need for everyday life, food for the night's meal, not just night market food, but handmade noodles, dumplings, black sesame candies, Chinese medicines, free range eggs. I find the clothes are cheaper, the fruit and vegetables are higher quality than the supermarket and of course in Anping the fish is super fresh. I guess I like being a "regular" at the local market and getting preferential treatment.
2. Carrefore or RT Mart
Carrefore has better baked goods, flour tortillas and imported food (pesto, corn chips, brie, whole wheat noodles). RT-Mart can have some real great deals. They had organic green lentils and quinoa, which no one but me was buying and then one day they had it all marked off 50%. RT-Mart also marks down fruits and veggies so often, sometimes I am lucky enough to buy produce by 75%, great for fruit shakes and veggies for my juicer. Carrefore’s marked down fruits are often inedible. I go to both equally, RT Mart is closer to me.
3. Public Transport or Scooter
In Tainan I need my scooter. I have tried public transport here and it was a nightmare, even something seemingly simple like the free bus 88 which goes to all the touristy historical places are at the mercy of the driver’s whims. (In Taipei I always used public transport, which was efficient and cheap. Except for going out on weekends when I needed to share a cab after the midnight MRT train closed.)
4.Rice or Noodless
Noodles are more fun to eat. I have purple rice and brown rice, but noodles are still way more fun.
5. White sesame or black sesame
Black sesame. More fragrant, richer flavor, healthier.
6. Family Mart or 7-11
7-11. I have 2 right around the corner, and I can pay my bills, taxes, transfer money, buy concert tickets, update my phone card, send a Federal Express and buy a cappuccino. Usually I run into an old acquaintance there and once a week I have my language exchange next to middle schoolers having their dinner of Japanese curry in between night English and piano.
7. Foreign Men or Taiwanese Men
I’m afraid this hasn’t been much of an issue since I have been here. Foreign men have a bad rap here in Tainan, sleazy, exploitive, womanizers (of course I know foreign men contrary to that). The majority of local men my age have their own families. Hopefully 2011 will shed more light on this subject.