Starbucks has quietly rang in a new policy for the Chinese new year: no milk is offered to customers at the service counter. You can still add sugar, but if you want milk (either fresh milk or UHT milk in those little containers), you will need to ask for it like a common pauper. And it will be added to your cup by a barista, not you!
This from a company that has been called out for charging more in China than anywhere else for coffee. Just last month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he was “bullish” on China. Newsflash, Mr. Schultz: coffee drinkers want cow’s milk, not bull’s shit. Yes, I’m seeing red and huffing like an angry bull, bad puns and all.
Does anyone know if this is a country-wide change or just in the Shanghai region?
These days it takes a lot to get me onto TFF to post. Seven stars is enough, though. Go Wuhan. And shame on China Daily for referring to it as a “so-called” seven-star.
Was walking home today after reading some of the China-Japan news and passed by the local Ito Yokado store. The store is usually jam-packed with affluent Chinese buyers buying imported milk and other food products. Not today. This time there was a big sign saying the store was closed until tomorrow. The big Ito Yokado sign on the roof was covered by large pieces of tarp, there were security guards stationed outside each entrance, and huge Chinese flags were flying upfront. I wanted to take a picture but it was too dark.
I continued walking and managed to notice this sign in a local storefront window.
The irony in the fact that the store sells Japanese-inspired designer clothing was lost on the shop clerks inside. Notee the effort put in to make the sign multicolored and multilingual — stylish….
I was working from home today. Around 5pm I got on my bike to ride into the city, only to discover a flat tire. Walked outside to have it fixed and saw five or six people standing around the entrance next to mine. They were looking at a young woman lying on the ground, badly injured and almost naked.
Her arms were covered in abrasions, and she had a two-inch gash along the left side of her head. Her face was swollen and looked to have some yellowish bruises. Her lips were too red, as if from blood rather than lipstick.
She rolled slowly back and forth on the pavement, but she said nothing and her eyes were closed. Clearly out of it, though, as her dress or nightie was tangled into a small ball around her chest, leaving her covered only by a bra and stockings. Continue reading “Re-train China’s Olympians as First Responders”
Jumped into a taxi at approximately 9:52pm tonight after a great dinner at Home Plate. The driver was wearing earphones — white, iPod style. Can’t ever remember seeing that before. Then he suddenly starts shouting. Continue reading “Beijing Ducks Win CBA Title; Our Taxi Driver Goes Bonkers”
Something to check out on my next visit to Wuhan is the “Chu River / Han Street” area (chuhehanjie, 楚河汉街). Basically, they took the point where the tunnel under the Yangtze River comes out in Wuchang and extended the road across the Sha Hu, the large lake in the middle of Wuchang between the (even larger) East Lake and the river. In the section of the road between the two lakes they squeezed in a canal and a Jianghan Lu-style walking street, complete with the Euro-style architecture and narrow streets of the foreign settlement area in Hankou. Continue reading “Chuhehanjie!”
Arrived in Wuhan on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago after a comfortable soft sleeper train from Beijing. On our nifty private TVs in the sleeper car they played the Karate Kid remake with Jacky Chan and Jaden Smith. The Beijing portrayed in this movie is ridiculous — the temperature is never remains mild through month after month of training; it rains all the time; the streets are narrow and the buildings rarely more than two or three stories tall; the city is lush with trees and greenery; repair guys speak fluent English; parents can call their kids, find out where they are, drive to pick them up, then take them to the music conservatory — all in 20 minutes; and, best of all, and groups of 12-year-old Chinese mini-hoodlums roam the streets and beat up smaller foreign kids in public parks with impunity. Continue reading “Wuhan Update — June 2011, part 1”