Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't Tell

I think most people posted about their Christmas on December 26th [or if you were shopping, within the next few days]. Well when you're traveling through Southeast Asia, you're allowed to take your time.

Every new city we arrive in, I take note whether there is a Starbucks or not. Almost every city we've visited on this trip has had far more than one Starbucks. Even the small, more remote towns continue to surprise us. It's amazing to me how Starbucks has taken over the world. Since we have more Starbucks in Seattle than we know what to do with, Yuriy and I decided to stay away from the coffee giant while abroad. We would rather try authentic French coffee in Paris or Turkish coffee in Istanbul [and support local shops].

However, our decision did not stop us from walking into a Starbucks... on several occasions. Passing through the doors is like being teleported back to Seattle. Every Starbucks store smells and looks the same. It's a little piece of home and familiarity. Every time we walked out empty handed, determined to stay away. You couldn't pay us to drink a Starbucks cup of coffee.

Since we were in Hong Kong for Christmas, it meant no family, friends, presents, caroling, church service, stockings, or my mama's Christmas dinner. I admit I was pitying myself a bit. I came to the conclusion that we deserved some Starbucks coffee on Christmas day. There's nothing more satisfying than breaking the rules and indulging.

On Christmas morning, it was sunny outside, Hong Kong continued to be busy, workers were all over the streets, and hardly any businesses were closed for the day. It sure didn't feel like Christmas back home where the city literally shuts down because everyone is at home with their families. We enjoyed our guilty little treat in the big cushy chairs in a corner of Starbucks. Just the two of us, far from home. It was a sweet way to start off Jesus' birthday.

- Julia
Julia: gingerbread latte, apple/cinnamon/walnut muffin
Yuriy: toffee nut latte, blueberry scone