01 Nov 2018

The Streets of Magong City

Stinky tofu

By the third day in Magong City, we had become somewhat familiar with the city. Most days, after returning from cycling, and having a quick shower, we wandered around as a group after the sun set and the city’s markets came alive. The smell of stinky tofu occasionally filled the air (with an indistinguishable aroma to sewer - not kidding). After talking to Min (our vegan tour guide, and outspoken fan of stinky tofu) about this aroma, she mentioned that she also couldn’t quite distinguish it from sewer! It made me think about the stinky dutch cheese that I had always loved growing up, and although it isn’t quite as aromatic as the stinky tofu, it made me wonder deeply about what is considered “normal” in across different cultures. Specifically, I thought about how what stinky tofu is to Min, resembles what stinky dutch cheese is to me and my family. How neat! In fact, if every time I smelled sewer I was reminded of my favorite food, it would actually be kind of nice… Don’t you think?

Min and Sandy, the best tour guides in the world!

The group had become somewhat close - for a group of random strangers that had known each other for less than a week. It kind of felt like a nice group of old friends that had reunited on a trip in a foreign country. So wandering around, smelling all the smells that the streets of Magong had to offer was an absolute pleasure.