Places I Write: A-Bao


Since recently switching to writing my first drafts on paper instead of keying them into my computer, I’ve been able to branch out and write at a wider variety of locations. As the title of this post suggests, one of these places is A-bao.

A-bao is an open air breakfast and sandwich shop I hit up a few times a week. The pleasant atmosphere and natural lighting make it a great place to write for an hour or two early in the morning. A-bao also has delicious, reasonable priced food and top-notch tea lattes brewed from Taiwanese tea leaves.


My regular order consists of three things:

  • danbing (蛋餅), a kind of Taiwanese omelet
  • a piece of toast with butter
  • and coffee or tea, depending on my mood


Some people consider danbing to be a kind of crepe or pancake, but because the outer layer is pretty thin I think of it as a Taiwanese omelet. Although many Taiwanese people like to eat danbing together with a popular kind of thick and sweet soy sauce, personally I prefer to top mine with spicy pepper sauce. Regardless of which flavor you choose, a danbing roll is a delicious way to start your day!

Toast with butter

Toast in Taiwan is usually served only lightly browned, and I have yet to see the nearly-burnt toast that’s occasionally found in breakfast diners back home. Also, in a special Taiwanese twist, oftentimes breakfast shops will take two slices of toast and put something in the middle, resulting in a kind of toast sandwich. This particular morning, however, I decided to keep it simple and have a thick slice of toast topped with butter.

After I finish my breakfast and get tired of trying to interpret one of the complimentary newspapers, I pull out my notebook and get to work. Usually I’ll get a few pages written before either walking back home or moving on to another spot to continue writing.

In the photo below, you can see me working on Aristotle’s Poetics (working title), a prequel to the Northland Chronicles. I’ve found I’m not very good at predicting when my books will be released, so all I’ll say about Aristotle’s Poetics is that it will probably be about as long as Spear Hunter, and that it’s coming along quite nicely.

Aristotle's Poetics

Anyhow, that’s A-Bao! I’ll be back soon to show you more of my writing haunts here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. In the meantime, I encourage you to show me where you write, either on your blog or on Twitter with the #PlacesIWrite hashtag.

P.S. Before the week is up, I plan to make an announcement about Ramses’ Thunder, a short story set between the first and second books in the Northland Chronicles. Look for the first official news about it to appear soon!

Henry Olsen

Writer, adventurer, and humble servant of the universe since 1986.