May 4, 2012

Since when are sweatpants appropriate?

We sit drinking coffee at one of the ritzy shopping malls in Harbin. From our table, I see a Häagen-Dazs, Sephora, Calvin Klein store, H&M, Zara, Wrangler and Lee Jeans stores (yes, both Wrangler and Lee Jeans are ritzy in China). As we sit, we count the number of sweatpants wearers.

First a young trendy couple. He's carrying her purse (as any good man in China would do) and she's looking as trendy as ever. He's wearing grey sweatpants. I bet they are designer sweatpants.

We chat more about how in the world a coffee shop can run out of vanilla syrup. Do you know how many drinks require vanilla syrup? Both of my favorite drinks, vanilla lattes and caramel macchiatos, are off the menu for the day. The barista offered sugar-free syrup but we choose to dodge the massive aspartame induced, day after "my head's going to explode" headache and instead have hazelnut lattes.

Ummmmm.....I mean, we converse about how to meet students' educational needs through film viewing.

Then a first: a matching sweatpants couple! I'd never seen a matching sweatpants couple. They're both wearing grey sweats (who'd have thunk it) with a blue and red striped shirts. She's holding his arm and he's holding her purse.

This pointless entertainment continues until we find the bottoms of our cups and move on to what's next: counting sweatpants wearers outside.

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