Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 04 2004

I found myself in the vicinity of Taipei 101010101…

I found myself in the vicinity of Taipei 101010101 the other day (ok, I went to see Torque…yeah, it kind of sucked, but I just couldn’t resist a movie with both motorcycles and Ice Cube), so I went inside to check on the status of the proposed Page One bookstore, which by coincidence had just opened that day. I went in and was immediately impressed by the vast rows of books, as well as the large percentage of English-language books. I went over to the sci-fi/fantasy section (which is larger even than the one at Silex books on Jinhua Street) and found, however, that the books weren’t in any particular order on the shelves, at least in those sections. The staff tried to explain to me that they were placed by series, but that didn’t make any sense. In fact, they weren’t in any order at all that I could discern, save for “first out of the box” order. The staff members I met seemed eager to help, though, and they found the book I had asked about, Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton, in a matter of a few minutes. On a whim I asked whether they had Counting Mantou. “No, we don’t have that yet,” the guy answered. “But we’ll have your book in soon, and maybe you can sign some copies for us then.”

“Damn, you know who I am?” I said, stupidly. I knew I shouldn’t have shaved off my beard. At least they, like Fnac, seemed willing to let me sign copies. Eslite said signed copies would be seen as “damaged” by their customers.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at how expansive the collection at Page One was. The brochure I picked up says the store is 25,500 square feet in size, and while it’s no Barnes and Noble, it’s far, far closer than anything Taiwan has seen so far. Now all the Vagina Mall has to do is fill the as-yet unopened third floor with electronics, music, video-game and motorcycle accessory stores and it might have a shot at becoming a real mall. It won’t happen, though, as every single entrepreneur on the island is too busy having wet dreams about the 18-30-year-old-female market.

In the meantime, it’s been solid gloomy rain pelting through the wet cold all week. It hardly even gets light out during the day. This is the worst kind of weather you can have in Taiwan (including typhoons, which can at least be exciting). The constant sound of rain can become annoying, but whenever it starts getting to me I just think about how glad I am that I don’t have to be out in it all day like some people do.

posted by Poagao at 11:00 am  

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