Caffeinated Capitalism

What are the signs of a developed country? McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks on every block? It seems as though this may be a defining characteristic of a country’s accumulation of wealth. It makes sense. Fast food for a fast lifestyle, and coffee to keep it all running smoothly.
In China it’s hard to come by a cup of coffee, but becoming easier. I was thinking about this at a Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Hong Kong while surrounded by white foreigners. Hong Kong, I might add, is a different world from mainland China, or at least Beijing.
Have you ever wondered why you NEED a cup of coffee in the morning to help you make it through the day? Or maybe one at around noon?
Coffee and cigarettes, I once read, were taboo before the Industrial Revolution. Coffee was once the “Muslim Drink.” After this huge boost in industrious human activity, we needed more fuel and stress relief. Hence the crowd of white people sipping cafe lattes all around me at a Starbucks in the Asian business capital. It’s a good thing smoking isn’t allowed in here.
This photograph was taken in a busy shopping section of Beijing. KFC, formally known as Kentucky FRIED Chicken, is very popular in China. With the amazingly tasty and fresh food they have in this country, I can’t quite figure out the fascination with deep fried chicken.

Posted August 9th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


  1. Robbyn:

    Your post rings true with the book I’m currently reading, “How to Be Idle.” My own blog entry with a somewhat similar theme is entitled, “Blame it on the Industrial Revolution” for our 24/7 lifestyles. Coffee fuels the fire.

    When you stay at the YMCA in Hong Kong, there’s a Starbucks across the street–for the Western tourists staying at the “Y.”

  2. Paul:

    What do you think that kid is going to choose, Extra crispy or original? I’m thinking extra crispy.

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