What a lovely bag!

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Earlier this year, a Chinese book chain named Xinhua opened a store in Box Hill. In China these stores are typically gargantuan, filled to the brim with books of every description. It would seem that the Chinese have an inherent love of reading as these stores are always full of people – many who choose to simply hang out in the store for a portion of the day to read. It makes me wonder if these people actually ever purchase the books, when they can simply read them in store. I suppose it’s not overly different from local stores such as Borders, who promote in-store reading; even going as far as providing comfortable chairs.

I enjoy going into Xinhua for a variety of reasons, first and foremost because they’re so friendly. I get the impression that they really don’t get much in the way of ‘foreign’ (aka non-Chinese) customers, and they are always really happy to come and offer assistance. The other night, a young guy was happy to point out some new release titles, explaining what the movie was about, where it was from (Japan), and most importantly that they have English subtitles. The guys own English was a bit patchy, which makes me think that he leaps at the opportunity to practice it with a native English speaker.

I have bought a few movies from there, movies which I am certain are pirate copies sent in from China. The whole store would be a fantastic resource for the local Chinese, not unlike certain foreign language bookshops we found in China (Shanghai/Beijing) were to us.

On those few occasions we have bought something, the friendly woman behind the counter has asked if we’d like a bag, to which we said yes, then she’s had the pleasure to point out how lovely the bag is, bringing our attention to the Winnie the pooh and Disney characters covering it. They’re cute in their innocence, and it’s for this reason I love dealing with them.

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