Blech, I’m never going to be much of a headline writer. Anyway, last week, Ron, Daisy and I went to the Miniature Museum of Taiwan, which was a mesmerizing (or, dare I say, mini-merizing) experience to say the least. I’m a pretty consistent person in terms of hobbies–I’ve been interested in miniatures since I was seven years old, when I wrote to a penpal that I like to collect “miniature things, like miniature books, miniature paint sets and miniature chairs.” I never heard back from him.

Anyway, the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan (袖珍博物館, xiù zhēn bó wù guǎn) is located in the lower level of 96 JianGuo North Road , Sec.1 (台北市建國北路一段 96 號 B1). You can take the Muzha Line to Nanjing East Road Station (NOT to the Zhongshan Middle School Station, as the Lonely Planet Daisy brought along with her so unhelpfully informed us), and walk for ten minutes along Nanjing East Road to JianGuo North Road. The museum is in a generic-looking office building–go in and to the left until you see this entrance (or just follow the tour groups from Malaysia and Japan):

Museum of Miniatures entrance

The museum consists mainly of dioramas representing the insides of fancy apartments and mansions owned by tiny people who really like rococo ornamentation. Here’s Ron staring into one of them, and a few interiors that caught my fancy:

Ron looking into a diorama Miniature Versailles

Miniature Versailles (at least I think it was Versailles)

Miniature fancy house

Miniature fancy house. Ron told me to post a picture of this and tell people that it was our apartment. Ha! Well, our apartment kind of looks like this, only minus everything… and with a lot more Ikea furniture.

Miniature horsie

Miniature horse outside of a dollhouse.

Miniature interior

An interior that reminds me of my much-missed copy of The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.

Not so miniature me

Me ruining a romantic outing on the veranda.

The museum’s gift shop is also pretty sweet, if a bit overpriced. There is a pretty large selection of supplies for dollhouse builders, though most of it is 1/12 scale. For Blythe and other 1/6 doll collectors, they have a supply of Re-ment miniatures and furniture. For people who don’t collect dolls or miniatures but are married or engaged to the people who do, there is also an ample selection of miniature liquors (though not in 1/6 or 1/12 scale).

Anyway, in case you were curious about where my dolly/miniature perversion has taken me recently, I present to you my new project, Catherinia:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been gathering Re-ment miniatures and furnishings box by box (or, fine, boxes by boxes) and piece by piece whenever I happened upon them in the States. In Taipei, we finally bought an Ikea bookshelf and I discovered where I could get Re-ment for a third of what I’d been paying back home, and this is the end result. The house is a work-in-progress, however, and at some point I’ll take better photos so you can better appreciate my increasing estrangement from reality. These will have to do for now, though:


The study/playroom area: Petite Blythe is playing with her toys while Vincent writes her memoirs. As you can see, they have also stolen my human-size Muji pencil. Shame!


Catherine Jr. creepily watches Farrell and Allegra as they take a nap. Pouncie, the cat, licks herself compulsively.

Kitchen shelves

Secret Assassin Kistler hides in the corner of the kitchen. Secret Assassin Kistler is in a bit of a quandry, because she kind of forgot who she is supposed to assassinate. She does remember, however, that the subject has a notably large head-to-body ratio.

Dinner is going to be some delicious potstickers and poison, courtesy of Templeton, who the other Blythes have forced to be their scullery maid.

Templeton hears something

Templeton hears something.

Warner and Zuleika drink and watch Japanese space cartoons in the living room.

In other news, March 12 was my Blythe doll Farrell’s second buyday! I bought her two years ago at Toy Tokyo in the East Village, and my life has not been the same since. Well, it’s still kind of the same–I’m still with Ron, I’m still a journalist, I’m still living roughly along the same latitude, give or take a few degrees–only people now think I’m insane. But it’s brought me new friends I’d never have met otherwise, given me an in into a flourishing subculture in Taipei that helps me feel at home in this city, and brought levity into my life. Also, I think I’ve turned my mom into a Blythe fan, too. I do hope she adopts one when my parents come to visit later this month. If she does, we can take our girls to teatime and have some mother-daughter-doll bonding time. Thanks girls!