People in these parts think there are piles of coffee shops stacked on every corner, but I guess it seems that way when there were none before. Actually, they are sparse indeed and only to be found in the bigger places. Even so, few locals drink coffee. It may be seen by some as hip thing to do, to walk down the street sipping from a paper cup of coffee (most just think they are up themselves). China may be touted by the purveyors of that black, acidic drug as the greatest market of all, with well over a billion potential sippers.

But there’s a catch, and a simple one. A cup of coffee costs 25-30 yuan, or about 5 dollars. What’s the problem with that? It is the equivalent of whole day of meals. I do not mean eating at home, but eating out. As someone pointed out to me this morning, what idiot would waste their money like that?