Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 19 2003

After fortifying myself with some intestinal-clean…

After fortifying myself with some intestinal-cleansing apple juice yesterday afternoon, I decided it was time: Time to visit Taipei 101, the supposed Mall of Malls, the Pacific Place of Taiwan. Mindcrime and I took the subway out to City Hall Station and walked over to the tallest building in the world, underneath which the mall is located. I had thought there would be less of a crowd today, it being a weekday, but a whole crowd of people, composed mostly of the R.O.C. Society for the Escalator-impaired, apparently thought the same thing.

The first thing I noticed about the mall when we walked in the back door was confusion. Everywhere people were on walkways, overpasses, underpasses, escalators, stairs, up, down, and every other direction. A glance over the rail showed that 101 went way, way down, and further up. Many storefronts displayed posters saying “Coming Soon”, while people milled around looking for stores that were not only actually open, but something they hadn’t seen before. The promotors of 101 promised a more western-style mall, but all I saw were expensive clothing and knick-knack stores, just like the Estrogen Mall. Not an electronics store or book store in sight, though some were advertised as “Coming soon” of course. We walked around, took various escalators up and down until we were completely lost. It didn’t seem a very welcoming place. In fact, it reminded me more of an airport lobby than a mall. A sort of giant airport waiting room with no flights, i.e., hell. And then I looked up and saw that the Estrogen Mall had truly met its match. Whereas the Estrogen Mall merely has stores devoted to women, Taipei 101 is actually constructed to look like a woman. Talk about going back to the womb; the place looks like it’s about to give birth. It was positively unsettling.

But before I could run screaming from the place, there was one thing I had to do: visit the supermarket, thankfully located in the basement, out of sight of the giant gaping female genitalia overhead. Once inside we discovered hints of an American supermarket. I bought enough goodies to ensure I won’t be a pleasant sight at the beach for a good while.

After locating an exit point, we looked up and discovered the top of the building was hidden in the clouds, so I took a picture. I knew Taipei 101 was scary, but I never imagined it would be so scary in so many ways. It’s the world’s tallest building, constructed on an earthquake- and typhoon-prone island, is shaped like a giant bamboo stalk and has what is probably the world’s largest mechanical vagina overlooking a plane-free airport lobby disguised as a mall. It’s so bizarre it might even turn out kind of cool if it gets some good stores.

Just don’t look up.

posted by Poagao at 3:05 am  

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