When I was back in Beijing the other week working out of our Beijing office, I was blown away by how many things have opened up in the office building since I moved away in March.
I worked out of that office for two years, and that building has been around as long as I can remember, looming over the third ring road. It’s hardly a new structure, yet the back buildings were always empty, and had been for years. It was never easy to eat around the office, and you were better off packing your lunch. The one thing in the building was a Blenz coffee, which you would never guess in a million years was part of a broader franchise – and is the kind of place that would have you praying to the coffee Gods to send you a Starbucks.
So you can imagine my horror when I walked into the lobby and spotted a Starbucks sign towards the back, with a big wrap-around ‘coming soon’ banner. On top of this, an upscale supermarket has opened, as well as a cantonese cafe chain, a Subway, a cooking school and western cafe and an entirely new and improved food court complete with dim sum sections.
Seriously this building has been there for years, and I’m not gone 6 months and everyone and their mom opens up shop. The injustice was excruciating.
In China, if one seller opens up, three more open up next to them – often selling the same stuff. It’s sort of a running joke about why are all the apple sellers stationed right next to each other?
Well recently I stumbled on this little gem online, apparantly coffee shops are an emerging craze in second tier cities in China. With blatant Starbucks rip-offs having been around for years, this one surely takes the cake.
Love how the blogger calls it a coffee brothel instead of a coffee bar.
China never ceases to amaze, or amuse. And that’s why I love it so much.
Thank you China, once again you have made my day.