Sunday, December 15, 2013

The best gift

My birthday and Christmas fall on the same month, so I get to have double gifts.

I got my birthday gift first. This year my in-laws gave me some money, and asked me to tell them what I bought.

I love reading, but all these years in France, I have never bought a Chinese book from France. I normally got them from Malaysia, our suitcases were heavy with books. Nowadays it is actually very easy to order books from Asia, the only problem is the cost. The shipping cost could be more expensive than the books themselves, that's what stops me. There is one Chinese bookstore in Paris, but they sell very limited (or outdated) selections.

The idea of ordering from Taiwan has been lingering in my mind. Several times I almost clicked the "confirm" button, with books that I so eager to read. I decided that this year I would treat myself with lots of books from an author I admire. I tried to find her books online but there were very few available. I even hoped that they could sell the kindle version, but I couldn't find it in any online bookstores.

So, I ordered 10 books on my birthday. To my surprise, just 4 days later, I got a notice that I missed a parcel. Wow, it only takes 4 days for them to deliever from Taiwan to France! Unfortunately, the distributing company they chose, DHL, does not provide good customer service, in my opinion. I followed the instruction on the notice to schedule a second delivery, I would go to pick it up, but they don't open on Saturday! Anyway, I asked them to deliver to the management office. I went to pick it up in the evening, and I was told that it was not delivered yet. Later I received a call from DHL, saying that they passed by but the management office was closed. Yes they chose to deliver during lunch hour. The woman told me that they could only delivery between 12pm and 2pm, so if I could ask someone in the management office to stay for the parcel. I told her that I have no right to stop someone from going to lunch, and she agreed.

Anyway, the second evening, I got my parcel. I was so excited! I got 6 books for myself and 4 books for Aelig. She loves them. Hubby knows that I read very fast, so he told Aelig that I would finish these books by Sunday. And how right he was, I swallowed 6 books within two evenings and a weekend.

Each book costs about 10€, about the same price for a French novel. So, I told myself, I just need to think that I'm buying books from France. Suddenly I feel so much better, and I hope I have more budget to buy books I love in the future!


  1. nice birthday gift, indeed. Happy belated birthday! Hope you had a great celebration.

    May I know the link to the book shop? Thanks. I love to read some Chinese books too ...

    1. Thanks for your wishes.

      Here is the link:

  2. Anonymous12:59 AM

    Good books in one's native tongue are precious when living abroad!

  3. Hello Bee Ean,

    Happy Belated Birthday! How nice of your in-laws to give you some money as a gift and let you buy whatever you want. Is it the French culture to do this?

    1. Yes and no. Some families choose to buy gifts but some prefer to offer a cheque. My in laws normally give me money because they don't know what to buy for me.

  4. Hi Bee Ean,

    Oh excellent. You finally got the the liao hui ying books!
    Merry christmas and happy new year.


    1. Hi Casper,

      Yes, finally got them.
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

  5. Anonymous10:40 PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I share your same love of books! I have "almost" ordered so many times! I am so happy that you got your books! ENJOY!