Starbucks in Shanghai no longer offers milk!

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?

Someone ripped off my Wuhan-themed pro wrestling character’s finishing move


From the SCMP:

After failed attempts to stop a fellow passenger on a subway train illegally eating her “hot and dry” noodles – a popular local snack – in a rush-hour car, Ye said she took out her mobile phone and snapped a picture of the young woman, according to her Weibo account.

The woman, realising she was being photographed, exploded with anger.

She stormed in front of me and slammed her bowl of noodles on my head,” Ye wrote, “then she tried to grab my phone to delete the photo.”

East China Sea Islands…

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….

Re-train China’s Olympians as First Responders

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”


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!”