Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Piss On The Sun

Piss on the sun
My love is dead

-- Charles Bukowski, "To Jane"

Seven years is a long time; it's not surprising that things have changed a lot. I supposed one of the things I liked about this place, however, was that it seemed so far off the map -- a city in bumfuck Russia that nobody had even heard of.

It took the 21st century a while to catch up to it, but catch up it did -- hypermarkets, massive pre-fab furniture warehouses, shopping malls, yuppie sushi restaurants, chain Italian places -- all the bland, serviceable detrius of modern life.

There are, by one account TWICE as many cars on the road now as there were three years ago, and pleasant four lane tree-lined streets are now mini-highways.

I'm willing to allow all this.

UNTIL THEY CLOSED DOWN THE PIRATE DISC MARKET. Well, it's not exactly closed yet, but it's dying -- it's operating about 10 percent capacity, the lot having been sold for YET ANOTHER SHOPPING CENTER. (One of fourteen scheduled for construction THIS YEAR.)

My haven for $1 DVDs and $2 computer games and $3 MP3 collections with 9 hours of music on them -- all gone, gone, gone.

You go searching for something exotic, unique and beautiful, and find the whole world just kind of turning into Muncie, Indiana.


steve said...

I feel ya X. Way back when i turned up to Taiwan you could get pirated VCD's (remember those?) at the night markets.

1 year later, nothing, nowhere.

As the game was dying it did provide me with a great display of irony. To avoid prosecution the stall owner would stand about 10 metres away and payment was made by choosing a Vcd and putting your money in an honesty box.

ah the days the days.....

Mike Why said...

I saw this coming (saw it happening actually) in Vilnius. No more grotty bootleg CD emporium there.

You can now wander into one of many new (and nearly empty of people) malls and pay 3-4 times more for a much worse selection of CDs. Or just go to one of the many, many new casinos and waste your money the traditional way.

BudFox said...


Glad you mentioned Buckowski. I'm half way through your memoirs (late 2006 so far) and I always think of Charlie's crazy tales while I'm reading yours.

He makes me laugh out loud as do you & Irvine Welsh for that matter.


BudFox said...


I just finished your whole blog. It was a great read.

For the record it has not made me want to teach English. At another time in my life I might have tried it for the laughs. But not for the long term.

I can see the point of some of your office based commenters though. Corporate life is boredom personified.

I noticed you had a bit of a crisis of blogging faith a while back. When a devotee of the church of X turned up at your school.

My take is this. You can only control the information you put out there not peoples reaction to it. Some people will misinterpret your blog & get into teaching. Not your fault brother!

Other will genuinely want your life. Army volunteers increase during wartime. People don't make rational choices.

And others like me will think they can get young skinny western chicks through a mixture of lies & bribes. EFL not required.

Keep posting!



english student x said...

You're right about signs of progress here and annoying amount of cars. But I don't really think the book market is closing. It was moved several years ago, and I believe it will be moved now. I asked some friends, they didn't know where it moves either but no one thought it's closing :)
Anyway there are other places (sure there might be less choice) with pirate discs.

There is a trend to make local companies pay for software though, so after all it may happen that selling pirate discs will become really illegal.