July 5, 2009. A Long Walk to Starbucks.

From Starbucks Front Door
From Starbucks Front Door

Since it was cool, and since I woke up early, I decided to walk to a coffee shop I had discovered recently. About 07:00 I set out. It had rained all night and everything was wet. There were light clouds, so the sun was not out. I didn’t remember exactly where the coffee shop was located, I only had a general sense of its direction. All I remembered was it was on the second floor of a building. It seemed like the sign was green.

I started walking in the direction of the coffee shop, and of course I couldn’t find it. But it was a nice cool morning, so I did a little exploring. I went past my previous walking limit in this direction and into a new neighborhood. It was a pretty nice area with lots of greenery, gated apartment complexes, nice stores.

Then the sun came out and it became very hot, and very humid from all the rain. My shirt was wet, and I was thinking about turning around, but the sidewalk was tree lined and shady, so I continued. I don’t know how far I went, but it was well over and hour of

brisk walking. I usually figure I walk one mile every twenty minutes, so I walked somewhere between three and four miles.

Suddenly there was a Starbucks. Next door was another coffee place called European Delights. It appeared to be a coffee and desert place, but had a menu board out front advertising lunch and dinner specials. I wanted to sit down in some air conditioning, but didn’t know which one to pick. Quickly I decided on Starbucks because I wanted a cold drink, and I wasn’t sure what they had in European Delights.

I went in. It was crowded. I ordered a small iced latte for 25 yuan (about $3.75 USD). Even in China, Starbucks is grossly over priced, but I didn’t care. The air conditioner was running. I sat in an overstuffed chair next to the window and drank my latte for about an hour while watching people on the sidewalk outside.

Reluctantly I began walking home. I considered taking a bus, but I had left my bus card at home. It was even warmer than before. I walked slowly, keeping to the shade.

I had noticed a big indoor/outdoor market on my way to

Starbucks, but it was on the other side of the street, so I didn’t stop. I decided to have a look on the way home. I thought I might get a little street food for lunch. It turned out to be much like the markets close to my house. It had meat, fish and vegetables. There were a handful of vendors selling clothing, trinkets, flowers, etc. So while it was larger than my markets, it was basically the same. In fact, I didn’t find anything that looked good to eat.

I continued home getting hotter and wetter by the block. Finally I came to the Muslim restaurant where they have a green salad I like, and have described before. They also have good air conditioning. I went in. I have been there 3 or 4 times and they remembered me. I was seated by a window and they brought me an iced Tsingtao without my asking. I ordered the salad and five lamb kebobs. The kebobs were each 5 little pieces of seasoned lamb grilled on a skewer. They were 3 yuan (about .40 USD) each. All five kebobs probably didn’t have two ounces of meat between them.

There were a lot of lamb dishes on the menu there. Maybe that is what makes it a Muslim restaurant. Don’t they eat a lot of lamb in Muslim countries?

While I was enjoying the food and the a/c it began to get cloudy. I quickly finished my meal and hit the road to beat the rain.

I was home in a while, and the rain began shortly after I went inside. I haven’t gone out any more today. I have been practicing my chess, reading the news, and doing laundry.

While walking around barefoot, I stubbed my little toe on the right foot. I’m not sure yet if it is broken. It’s very painful now. Will have to see what tomorrow brings.

P.S.

Shortly after I posted my last blog where I mentioned the Croc store, I came across a story about Crocs on the MSN home page. They pictured and priced various styles. They had some that looked like mine as low as $16.00 per pair. So maybe it is possible that I got a good deal, and not counterfeits, thought I doubt it.

While I was in CoCo Park last night

I saw my electric razor in the window of the store. It was 2590 yuan (about $380.00 USD). I am sure it was made in China, as is everything. How it could be priced at 2590 yuan, I do not understand. I paid $95.00 USD at Wal-Mart for mine.

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About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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