Places I Write: Donutes

Outside DonutesAnother day, another installment of Places I Write! Today we’ll take a look at Donutes.

Donutes is a chain of Taiwanese coffee shops. The first branch opened in 1998 in Kaohsiung City (where I live). Now you can find Donutes all across the island, albeit the majority are still concentrated in southern Taiwan.

As with Sunny Day, I’ve been going to Donutes since the very earliest days after my arrival in Kaohsiung. Black coffee is very affordable at only 50NTD (~$1.70US) a cup. Better yet, for only 5NTD (15 cents) more you can upgrade that boring old Americano to a latte! Though I usually stick to those two options, Donutes also has a wide variety of other drinks. I think of it as a poor man’s Starbucks.

Inside Donutes

In terms of atmosphere, Donutes tends towards the louder side. The interior is always full of people chatting (of course, these people run and hid when I took the above photo), and the background music is usually an upbeat mix of Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English pop tunes.

(Though most Taiwanese don’t speak or understand Japanese and Korean, these two countries still have a large influence over Taiwan’s pop culture. Personally, I find it refreshing that there is such a wide mix of music here.)

Fortunately, the loud environment doesn’t distract me — in fact, sometimes I think having noise in the background may even help me focus.

In addition to the space inside, Donutes also has plenty of outside seating for those who don’t mind the southern Taiwan heat. And those who like to burn the midnight oil are in luck, as Donutes just so happens to be open 24 hours a day.

Writing in Donutes

The only gripe I have with Donutes is that sometimes it’s hard to find an open electrical outlet to plug my computer into, although since I’ve started writing longhand this hasn’t been a problem.

All in all, Donutes has treated me quite well over the past year and a half. That said, just this past Monday I had a game-changing revelation. After trying to get a seat in Donutes, only to find it full, I discovered a new writing location that has served me very, very well — so well that I’ve written more words this week than ever before.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ll have to wait little longer before I’m ready to share my new secret writing headquarters to share with you.

One parting thought: Why is it called “Donutes” and not “Donuts”?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Where do you write? Share on your blog or Twitter with the tag #PlacesIWrite.

Henry Olsen

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