Book Excerpt: Emperor Can Wait by Emma Chen
Restauranteur Emma Chen’s memoir, Emperor Can Wait, was launched last week in Johannesburg. Here’s an excerpt from the book that takes us back to Taiwan:
Beer houses became popular in Taiwan around the time I started at university in the late 1970s. They sprang up like bamboo shoots after the spring rain. Simple wooden structures with canvas awnings gave them an informal feel; during the day, they probably looked shabby.
All the beer houses I knew were decorated with Christmas-tree lights: they were everywhere — around the wooden balustrades, the pillars and even the roof trusses. These hundreds of little lights didn’t illuminate the beer houses, but they did provide an exotic and festive atmosphere.
Their business started at dusk and ended at dawn and my college friends and I would meet up for dinner there. The beer came in full-size bottles, much like wine bottles, and was served in basic cold drink glasses.
- Emperor Can Wait by Emma Chen
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