Sometimes doing a favour for a friend brings unexpected rewards. Today Danielle asked me to go and get her a book for a class she was going to at uni. She’d rung around and found that the only place selling it was Folio Books in the city and since she couldn’t make it to town in time she’d take advantage of my status as a city worker. Normally the furtherest I go in the city on any given day is across the road so this was going to be a big adventure for me.
I headed down to 80 Albert St, past the highrise that is replacing Festival Hall (it’s called Festival Towers) and in to the newish looking bookstore. I fumbled around about a bit trying to figure out if the book was in literature, fiction, plays or movies. I got sidetracked a bit when I noticed the large collection of graphic arts books (ooh shiny, colours, logos and skateboard stickers!) then was asked if I needed any help. “Do you have the book Cosi?” “The one by Louis Nowra? I think there is one here, the computer says we’ve got one”. She searched a bit, then headed off to fiction, searched there, then went back to movies and searched the same section she had searched first – obviously wishing that it had materialised in our absence. There were worried glances exchanged between the shop assistants – the book should have been there cause the computer said so. Well, the computer should have said “no” because we couldn’t find it. The girl said I should try the Book Nook in Edward Street because they specialize in that sort of stuff.
If they had told me over the phone that they had it in stock and then I went down there to find it wasn’t I would be ropeable, but since I was just doing a favour I wandered out still in a good mood because I was seeing parts of the city I hadn’t seen for a long time. A stroll down Mary Street and a right in to Edward brought me to the Book Nook. It’s a weird place because you walk down these new looking chrome handled stairs into a dark and dank book store. It’s like he purposely brought about a second hand mystique to the store in a new building. I was disoriented for a while until I spotted a sign saying “Australian Plays” so I headed there. A quick scan along brought me to the Louis Nowra section, but alas only a big gaping hole where Cosi should be. I thought maybe it’s in the world plays section so I glanced past the Brecht stuff to a place where it should be but no luck there either. The guy then asked if I needed help so I explained my problem and he said he should have some in tomorrow. Always the way.
Again I walked out empty handed and marvelled at all the new cafes and pubs that had sprung up in that part of town. Cakes2Go had me mulling over it’s meaning for a while but I was more interested in the Irish Pubs gearing up for St Pat’s Day tomorrow. I stopped in at Eckersley’s for a bit to check out their fabric paints that I am considering buying so I can make my own t-shirts. I wasn’t prepared enough for a purchase so I just weaved past the arty types and paint at home mothers to the front door. The journey wasn’t over just yet though because I still had to visit Borders.
Ah Borders. A 3 story american franchise that took over the space that once held movie goers. Now it sells overpriced books and confuses me with it’s generalizations. I always go to the elevator to look at what floor I need to go to and never find one specific enough for my needs. Then I’ll go to a section like fiction and they’ll have a sign there saying “why don’t you visit the play section too!” but the sign isn’t kind enough to say “and it’s on floor two!”. So I just end up cracking the shits and leaving. Which is what I did.
I headed back to work not achieving anything but disappointment. This is how most of my shopping adventures go unless I shop on the internet. No one ever has what I want. The problems with Folio and their computer had me thinking a while. I thought that maybe book stores and libraries should use RFID combined with GPS systems. Using tags on the book the computer could bring up a map of the store with the exact location of where the book is. That would foil all those people who hide books around the store so that they come back and buy it when they have money. It would also stop the problem I had where the computer said they had one but we couldn’t find it.
So what my reward you ask? I got to see Brisbane and discover parts of it that surprised me with it’s unfamiliarity. It also made me think about the word Cossie and why Aussie southerners call it that. It also helped me discover that it isn’t really about a swimsuit but an opera. I was wondering why they didn’t wear togs in the film. But best of all, it gave me fodder to write this pointless post about shopping and getting nothing. 🙂