In a moment of weakness, I went to one of Chengdu’s 4 Starbucks for a latte.
One of the workers came over so my classmate and I spoke to her for an hour or so (in broken Chinese) about her life story. Basically, she was born in Sichuan, the province I live in. After high school she moved to work in a factory in Shenzhen. Shenzhen, the Chinese city opposite Hong Kong, has blossomed from (literally) a few hundred person fishing village to a major industrial center since the Hong Kong turned Chinese in 1997. She worked in the factory for just 1 month, living in a dorm provided by the company, and quit. Why?, I asked. “Bu hao,” she said, shaking her head and waving her hands. “Not good, not good.”
Then her friend introduced her to a job at Starbucks Shenzhen, which was better.