A while ago, Fred Wilson wrote a posting about the incredible ubiquity Starbucks has achieved in recent years. I wrote a comment at the time, but I never know who actually reads blog comments other than the author.
The comment was:
Talk about ubiquity…my wife and I were just travelling in Asia and saw many Starbucks there, which was not a surprise. The one that WAS a surprise, however, which completely blew me away, was the Starbucks located in the middle of the Forbidden City/Imperial Palace in Beijing, the 600+ year old home of China’s emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. To be fair, it was tastefully done (no big green awning), and if it weren’t in its particular location, some other refreshment stand would be in its place, but still, I couldn’t help but feel like the conspicuous American in the crowd as I walked past it.
Anyway, now that Mariquita and I have finished our vacation web site, here’s the image of the implausible Starbucks Forbidden City location, in all its glory (even without the big green awning).
If you want to be tortured by a full complement of China and Japan pictures and the accompanying travelog, feel free. From the Wall to temples to big Buddhas to a well-chronicled sashimi dinner, it’s all here.