The Search for the Elusive English Bookstore

May 07, 2011 2 Comments by

In preparation for my impending 14 hour train trip to Beijing, I thought I’d find a bookstore and stock up. It’s humanly not possible to attempt such a journey without a new book. Just saying.

My handy dandy tourist map informed me that there was an English language bookstore just down the block from the Bell Tower. Super! That should be easy to find. Jinxed myself…

So the map shows that this bookstore is on the main drag between these two cross streets (I would put the names of them here but I lost my map and the made-up names I created for them I can’t spell). So I keep a careful eye out for the store as I walk east down this block. nada. I get all the way to the end without spotting it. Thinking maybe I have the street wrong I stop to ask a local. Well I shove my map in their face and point to the name of the store I want (it’s also printed in Chinese). They point me back in the direction I came from. Ok, must have just missed it.

I head back west to find it but I reach the end of the block again! So I stop to ask another local, thinking maybe it’s further down. Nope, back east I go. I get all the way to the end of the block AGAIN, no dice. Fairly annoyed at this point I turn around and happen to spot a sign way up the wall stating, “Foreign Language Bookstore, Use West Entrance.” Yes! We have contact. So I must just need to find the entrance at the other end of the block, down the westside.

I traipse all the way back down the block and turn the corner. Still nothin. Not willing to give up I walk all the way until I find an alley and then walk down the alley. Still no store. %#*@#(*)&$#!

So in one last final attempt to locate this mysterious store I go back down the block, stopping to ask a local at EVERY SINGLE STORE I PASS. I’m not kidding. If the guy 10 feet behind me said to keep going east, I stopped and asked the next person I saw. They must have thought I was a lunatic. Finally a security guard walked me to the store. The problem?

The bookstore was located THROUGH this shoe store. With no sign at the front to let you know it’s back there! Plus when you went all the way through this store (which smelled strongly of sewage by the way) you had to go…

Up 4 flights of stairs at the back! It got sketchier and sketchier the further up I went until I thought I was entering some strange slasher movie. Then I found it!

Looks like an English bookstore doesn’t it? I thought so too. Luckily I managed to find a book for the train. Otherwise somebody was gonna die.


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One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.

2 Responses to “The Search for the Elusive English Bookstore”

  1. Lindsey says:

    what book did you settle on?

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