I kind of like that song “Hey There, Delilah” but I’ve been getting a little tired of lately, mostly because the tune is so catchy that the guys in this oitffice have been whistling it all week. Just snippets, but over and over and *over*. But today in the car I actually listened to the complete lyrics for the first time, and wow. The rhymes are a little weak in spots, but otherwise it’s a gorgeous statement of “We’re young and in love and we can do anything. We’re separated now but we’ll be back together one day.” I found myself rooting for them to stay together – at least the bit about making money with the guitar is coming true, judging by how much play the song is getting.
I couldn’t talk about it at the time; I’ll be back to Rudder tonight, but the guy I was riding with is in the middle of three months away from his wife and son. If there’s anyone left who’s been reading this site (and its predecessors) since the beginning, you’ll remember I began it while I was in the middle of a similar period away from Rudder. I’m beginning to think I was lucky. We were in the same country; I could talk to him phone days and visit every other week. A lot of my coworkers are Taiwanese, in Europe for two or three months without any home visits. They’re really going out and trying to see as much as possible, touring somewhere or other almost every weekend – the only people we know who travel more than we do. They don’t complain, but it can’t be easy being away from family for so long.
I wrote yesterday about how much I’m looking forward to visiting Page One, the bookstore in Taipei 101. It’s not the biggest bookstore in Taipei, and may not even be the one with most English-language books; possibly I should check out Eslite before deciding where to spend my money. There’s one of those in the mall right near or new flat. It’s just that I fell in love with Page One. I don’t care all that much about design books, which are a specialty (except that they may be handy for some of my Chanukah-shopping). But one frustration with the big US bookstores is their distressing tendency to stock nothing but the biggest classics, the stuff that counts as litrachoor to the critics, and the bestsellers; this store had stuff that I can’t get in the US except by mail order. The history department was a bit worrying, in fact; there were so many books on their sale rack that I’m afraid they might be closing that department, and I really like the idea of having a whole section of books on little tiny parts of history that almost no one knows about.
I bought a few books while I was there (couldn’t resist) but I am deeply looking forward to getting there and being able to go nuts, preferably without Rudder along so I don’t feel I have to hurry. The nice thing is that I can’t remember what I bought (I know there were a few children’s or YA books; Arthur Ransome may have been represented, because I know I saw him on the shelves). We left those Rudder’s office so we wouldn’t have to drag them back, so when I get there I will have a nice surprise waiting.