100 Anecdotes: 5am at a Taiwanese Breakfast Shop

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One morning I found myself rising before the sun. Restless, I headed to a breakfast shop. It’s open from 3am everyday, offering handmade soy milk, buns and most importantly, you tiao (油條).

“They’re available from 5am only”, the owner said, as her trained hands rolled and cut dough. Bleary-eyed, I waited for breakfast and the sun.

True to her words, she placed the blistering curlers in front of me at 5am sharp. I hastily dunk them in my accompanying savoury soy milk. With every mouthful, the satisfying crunch and streaming hot liquids shook me awake. Far better than coffee ever did.

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