Day 364 (The Things You Forget About)

In Taipei on August 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Before I came to Taiwan I was nervous about how I would find books and I did some research into where I could find books and the internet reported that there was a book trade every Sunday at Grandma Nitti’s although it seemed debatable whether it still existed and it was never confirmed by anything associated with the place itself. When I arrived I found a few other places that sold books, Inma signed me up with the library, and I more or less forgot about it.

It is a year later. We search for a Greek place and we see the awning on a street in Shida that I do not recall ever having been down before, even though I have been to Shida countless times. It says: Grandma Nitti’s. On it is the bespectacled face of a grandma. This is it.

I think how one year ago I was trying to envision what this place looked like, what sort of street it was on, what its books were like, who Grandma Nitti was.

I thought it must be on a sidestreet somewhere have a yellow awning and be musty and closed-feeling inside, with a big table near the entrance where people would spread their books. I thought Grandma Nitti was a middle-aged man.

I know now that there are no sidestreets, that the awning is off-white, that it is open and Greek-feeling within, and that the books, at least now, are on a single set of shelves when you walk into the restaurant. Grandma Nitti is a Taiwanese woman named Rainbow.

They have Granta 90. It is NT$50. Needless to say, after we eat our nachos and spinach-eggplant lasagna and our breakfast burrito, I buy it.


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