Yesterday I went shopping. Usually when I shop, it takes about half an hour. I look round a few shops at the rubbish on sale, decide I don’t need anything, and go home. Yesterday was a bit different, as there were a couple of things I wanted to buy.
First stop was John Lewis, to get a smart shirt for Jamie, who starts his summer internship soon. Second stop was Waterstone’s, on George Street.
As a librarian, I feel that I should be able to find information on just about any subject. I remember working on the reference desk in the University of Botswana Library and feeling empowered. With the excellent reference collection at my fingertips, I felt I could answer just about any question, or at least point students in the right direction. Of course, the Internet has now mostly replaced the need for reference books. Yesterday, I thought I’d let someone else do the finding work, so I asked for help in locating travel literature which mentioned Lithuania, and the same for Yunnan Province in China. We’ve booked a trip to Kaunas later in the year, and I want to do some background reading before then, and I’m hoping that we can get to Yunnan some time next year.
The assistant chap in Blackwells was very helpful. He recommended From Russia With Lunch: A Lithuanian Odyssey, by David Smiedt, who I can see from the Wiki entry happens to like cricket due to his South African roots. Blackwells didn’t have that title in stock, so I’ve ordered it through Amazon.
The assistant found it more difficult to identify titles relevannt to Yunnan, but took me to the shelves and pointed out China Road, which I’m already reading, and then Wild Swans, by Jung Chang, and also Burying the Bones, by Hilary Spurling. I bought both books, and added Travels: Collected Writings, 1950-93, by Paul Bowles, to the pile, even though Bowles didn’t get to China. I’ve now got a lot of reading to get through.
The final stop was the expensive Orvis shop, where I bought a baseball hat to replace the one I’m wearing in the header at the top of this blog, as that one is now pretty grubby. I’m perfectly happy with the new hat, though I was amazed at the warranty that came with it, which states:
If this product is found to be defective in workmanship or material, please send your unit postage prepaid with original receipt plus $4.95 for shipping and handling to PANTHER VISION for replacement.
What! If the product is defective, I have to pay them to post me a replacement! That’s not right.