Mall Ratdom 101

Left to my own devices today in Taipei. Rita, Roy and Garry have gone on to Chi Nan University, the others are on their way back from Dong Hwa. I guess I’m being given down time to take the pressure off my one functional leg, but I’m restless.

This morning Roy, Rita and I saw Glen off, then went to 101, Taiwan’s largest mall and tallest building. I stayed on for the afternoon while they went on to catch their bus.

“Malls not war,” says Roys. “Shopping not guns.” We are being lulled into the future by dreams of consumption. Consumption, in fact, in this spacious, airy place is practically a spiritual act. I am one with my purchases.

We had lunch at the food fair in the basement. I was impressed. Much beautiful food to be observed and eaten. I could get with consumption… It is nothing like food fairs in North America. Here, the food is actually good– hooked, I guess, to a long Asian tradition of night markets and street food. I had lunch from a Hakka stall. I might need to get back to my Hakka roots, if the blood quantum is sufficient! It’s interesting how Hakka is being produced as an identity here– Wenchi says its been going on for only two or three years. I told Roy and Rita I could embrace it only as a product of capital– ha ha.

101 is not gimp friendly. I could access only three of the five shopping floors by elevator. I’m scared to crutch on to the escalator. It moves much too fast. There’s a big Page One bookstore there though. Perused the aisles for a couple of hours. If there’s a local Taiwanese literature, it’s not yet available in English. I was disappointed about that. On Friday Roy, Wayde and I will sit on a panel with two local Taiwanese writers– Hao Yu-hsiang and Lin Wenchi (who hosted us in Chungli yesterday.)

I wonder if one-legged people blog more than two-legged people? Thank-you, Rita, for leaving me your computer. It is hard to part with one’s prosthetic brain.

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