Saturday, August 24, 2013

Video 17: Popcorn Scooter

Taipei is known for its vibrant market culture, and the last video from Sanchung demonstrated what an important part scooters can play. Today's offering, Popcorn Scooter, is a short video in which I introduce a mobile popcorn vendor.


He's got a customized scooter-powered popcorn vending cart. The body of the cart is painted matte black, probably to help it remain in stealth mode as it's driven around the city without a license plate. The gas tank is on the right, and the popper is on the left. An umbrella is tucked under the shelf on the right. Bricks of popped corn and rice wait for customers to choose them These bricks, if my memory serves, are held together with a sweet syrup, so if you want to eat some, you have to gnaw at them.

I didn't have much time to catch these images as the red light was counting down quickly. I pulled over on the side of the road, in front of a Starbucks, and pulled my camera out of its bag. The vendor figured out what I was up to pretty quickly, and he welcomed my interest by waving at me. The guy on the scooter in front of him was less aware, and continued to dig in his nostril as I filmed. I had to let the cars turning right pass by before I jumped into the street to get the rear view, and then the light changed.

I was actually coming to this particular intersection to begin filming what I thought would be Video 17, but I wasn't expecting to see the popcorn scooter. Video 18 was filmed just a few minutes later, and it will be worth waiting for. I was inspired by a recent news story that featured Roosevelt Road, a scooter, a foreigner, stupidity, a cemetery, and.... Well, you'll just have to watch.