SARS and Starbucks, Part Two


“So John, do you like Starbucks?”
“Yes, but I don’t drink it much.”
“Really, why’s that?”
“Too expensive!  Why do you pay so much?”

John (Yoh-Wei) is the driver for the local ULAC field rep; he graciously offered to escort me to the local tourist shopping bastion-cum-corporate attorney’s Mecca.  In the midst of negotiating prices on a pair of Fiesels (my new word for ‘Faux Diesels’), I was stricken with a sense of emptiness at this display of eastern Capitalism. 

And to be honest…I’m not entirely sure why.  It’s a lingering feeling I’ve often had when visiting a foreign country; I observe people doing jobs that would normally pay minimum wage in the States and silently ponder, “I wonder if they’re making enough to survive…do they have workers’ rights?  Health insurance?…are they happy?”

Imagine: if the States, the so-called most economically “developed” nation, continues to struggle with these very issues, imagine how China’s growing pains must affect its populace….

[grumble.  I had another two paragraphs of idealistic ranting here but it got deleted.  Time for bed.  China Rocks!]


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