A Culture of Innovation at Every Turn

If there’s one thing that impresses me about Taiwan, it’s the ingenuity (創造力 / chuang zao li) that so many shop keepers exhibit. No matter where you go, if you look for it, there are signs everywhere of people making the most of what they have.

Here are a few examples I found around the island:

Can’t speak to the safety here, but it’s neat that computer fans are being used to cool food.

This countertop looks like any other, until you realize that…

…it’s on wheels. This makes it easy to close up shop and make better use of the space. Speaking of which, here’s a shop that divided its space into two.

The kitchen is still shared in the back, but the dividing of this storefront allows it to serve two distinct types of food to customers.

I detailed about signage in a previous post. It’s cool how so many of these signs aim to make better use of the space around them.

Space limitations mean you don’t see a lot of huge catering trucks, turned food trucks everywhere. Instead, I found these little buses and vans turned into the Taiwanese version of food trucks. Vendors make sales and often prepare food from outside.

This taiyaki (鯛魚燒 / diao yu shao) “food truck” is a van that is big enough to allow a person to cook and serve food from inside.

This van is large, but the owners have chosen to use the side of it as a huge advertisement for their fresh sugar cane juice (甘蔗汁 / gan zhe zhi).

Corn roasting could be a labor intensive process, but many vendors (especially at night markets) have turned to machinery to make the process a breeze.

Krispy Kreme has its donut-making machine. This random cake shop created its own version.

I’m still not quite sure what’s going on here, but I thought the machine was noisy and cool at the same time. The mochi was also good!

What are your thoughts on ingenuity abroad?

Have you experienced this or want to experience this? Share your thoughts below!

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