Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Starbucks or Barkstars?

So there's a new coffee shop in town, and boy does it look similar to my local favorite, Starbucks. Gotta love trademark infringement within China.

Barkstars unlike Starbucks is "dog friendly."

Monday, August 25, 2014

China Starbucks

Starbucks in Beijing is pretty close to the US, except for some of the crazy drinks they also offer like stuff with red bean and I bet we have WAY more green tea drinks than the US. What surprised me when I got back was that the drink prices are almost exactly the same. Beijing is more expensive by $0.50 at the most for most drinks. I'm not sure about the food stuffs.

A friend in Shanghai posted a promotional poster that had some more interesting flavors, sadly I haven't seen these offered in Beijing. The strawberry cheesecake frap sounds good but that's way more calories than I'm normally willing to consume for a drink.

Starbucks emails I receive for being a Gold card holder.

I did notice in the US this summer that my go-to drink gets a lot more sugar added (iced caramel macchiato) by way of the caramel. I now prefer the Chinese version and had to ask for less caramel back home. Funny how tastes adapt and change.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Packing to go back to China, the randomness!

I was lucky enough to come back to Beijing this summer flying business class, and thanks to my Delta status that meant kiddo and I both got 3 bags, each 70lbs.  This called for extra random packing of things most would find funny. I thought I would post some of the things I chose to bring back.

  • no sugar added jam
  • roasted almond
  • packets of oatmeal
  • herbs/seasonings
  • dance shoes for kiddo
  • clothes for kiddo for winter, next spring/summer
  • OTC medications
  • yeast
  • trash bags
  • chia seeds
  • canned chicken
  • underwear
  • dog leash
  • cat collar
  • Apple cables
  • shavers
  • lotion
  • car seat
The reason for bringing things can vary.  You can have stuff you can't find like the no sugar added jam, or a certain type of herb. A lot of the stuff is just very expensive over here like good quality trash bags, canned chicken, quality clothes, or even chia seeds (about $50.00/lb). Others, you just can't find the right brand or a good quality/size like yeast, underwear, Apple cables.

Luckily this year I didn't need to bring much food back, as I have plenty from coming over in previous years. I focused more on getting through the year and the things I needed that had broken or I was missing.

Note: I don't really know what the Chinese government allows to be brought into the country. I know the obvious like raw meats, agriculture stuff like fresh fruits/vegetables. I'm willing to take my chances and I don't think bringing dried almonds or canned chicken is dangerous or bothering anyone although I may be close to the line. I've heard of people using dry ice and packing meats, cheeses and such, which I would most definitely not recommend. I'd assume if caught, you would be in BIG trouble for those kinds of things.