As we left the almost open Starbucks, I asked M'Lynn, "Which would you rather see open during our time in Harbin? Starbucks or the subway?
We both answered, "Starbucks!"
But really, what's the big deal about Starbucks coming to Harbin? Our teammate and China veteran wrote an awesome post about the big deal.
So what is the big deal? It seems, from my experience, that there are levels to a city becoming "modern" in China. First, you get fake stuff like fake western restaurants that serve pizza with mayonnaise on them. Second, you get KFC. After you pass the Kentucky test, you might a McDonald's and or Pizza Hut (but probably not at the same time). Along the way, there are some coffee shops that also sell green tea freezes of some kind.We've seen all of these in Harbin and never thought we'd still be in Harbin when it reached the highest level of "modern."
It is only the truly modern among these cities that get the renown Starbucks Coffee.1
1"What's the big deal?" posted on China Chats on November 9, 2011