Before I came to Fuzhou, I asked Alan, who had been here for three years until he was elevated to the ranks of Central Command, about Fuzhou. Among the questions was one about whether Fuzhou had a foreign languages bookshop, an omission I felt sorely in Changzhou. He said that he wasn’t aware of one.
Yesterday I went to the Allovertheocean Bookshop which is not far from the Shangri La Hotel. I thought that with a name like that, it might have a decent foreign languages section. It didn’t seem to, but the place was huge. The plaque at the entrance said it was 13,000m2 and had 100,000 volumes. I could well have missed the English language section, but I got the impression that probably the only English language books were for school children or university students. I did find that sudoku has reached the Mainland.
(As a tangential note, when I was waiting at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, some guy happened to sit next to me while I was doing a sudoku puzzle out of a book. I knew that he was watching me, but what I didn’t realise until I got up was that he’d copied one of the puzzles and was doing it himself.)
Anyway, I went back to the stop to wait for the bus, but when the number 20 turned up, it was so packed that I decided to take a taxi home instead. The driver didn’t head down to Jiefang Bridge as I thought he might, but took a slightly different route and ended up crossing Minjiang Bridge which is the next bridge to the east. As we approached the river I saw the something publishing house foreign languages bookshop. I think I know roughly where to go to get back there again.
The irony is that I’m here for four days and I find the place (OK, it was by chance), while previous encumbents never found it.
Anyway, I thought that once I was done here, I’d pay the place a little visit – so long as I can find it again.