Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Consumer society, cafe culture

August 25th, 2010

"Joy is not in things; it is in us" – Richard Wagner

Cafe culture - web version

Urumqi. Provincial capital. Modern, air conditioned shopping malls. Expensive boutiques, international names, Louis Vuitton, Cartier. Even a few Western fast food chains. A consumer society. There’s a refinement, a sophistication, a nation teetering on the edge of First World, First Division. The cafe culture has arrived.

Boutiques - web version

In the streets, flyers being handed out, artists impressions of towering new housing developments, great monoliths amongst landscaped gardens. A great leap forward, or a step too quick? China’s economy has just over taken Japan’s, now the second largest in the world. But, in the background, rumblings of that familiar Western affliction, escalating property prices. And food prices are on the increase.

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