After sleeping until noon (Goodness! How embarrassing!), I took the bus into Taipei to visit the Jianguo Flower Market1. There were so many people! And I forgot to replace my camera’s SD card…so no actual photos of the mountains and oceans of people.
Really…I think I was in heaven! Good orchids are really hard to come by in the U.S. at a reasonable price…but in Taiwan, they’re like weeds! Well, maybe a better way of putting it is that they’re like wild-flowers. The climate over here is perfect for orchid cultivation and so one can purchase a pot for about half of what they go for in the States.
Of course, I was immediately attracted to the non-Phalaenopsis plants, since Phalaenopsis orchids are the ones most commonly found in American florist shops. My main conundrum, however, was the fact that anything I bought today wasn’t going to follow me to China or the U.S., and so had to be a type that I could give away as a gift (i.e. colorful and gaudy). Unfortunately, my first pick was a little out of my budget: a gorgeous peach colored orchid with shimmery petals and a dark brown stem…which made me think immediately of cherry blossoms blooming in the springtime. Price tag: 650 TWD. I almost cried on the spot.
Then, there were a bunch of orchid sproutlings that promised an abundance of curiously shaped blooms that I found absolutely fascinating. Nix on the gift-giving though, too non-standard equals strange expressions when giving to elderly relatives.
I finally settled on a plant with dark purple blooms, something a little different from the fuchsia and white hybrid orchids that always seem to be so popular.
It was 200 NTD, and while there were others going for 100 and 150 NTD, I think in the end I got the better deal! I certainly got enough comments from the ladies standing next to me while waiting to cross the street and for the bus. “Very mysterious color!” said one woman and then she points out the leaves and stem to her companion, “You see, good stem and root system, too! 200 NTD? Not a bad price!”
The other two I bought were whims. At 100 NTD each, they are non-Phalaenopsis (yes!) with yellow and white blooms. A little smaller, but they should be equally bright once they flower.
Oh! I wish I could mail these back home!
Additional back-posts made: 02.06.2010
- A small piece of advice to anyone taking public transportation to the flower market: get off the bus before you hit Ren-ai and Jianguo St. Crossing #1. If you don’t, you’ll get hit with another 15 TWD bus fare because that’s where the bus line moves into the next fare zone. Whoops! [↩]