Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cappuccino Capitalist

Espresso with a shot of frothy bourgeois

Where in Asia is this swanky coffee bar, where an espresso costs US$4 and a shaved ice red bean concoction can set you back by US$10? It could be Beijing, Taipei or Singapore. But no. It’s Pyongyang, North Korea. Though details are scarce, it is unfathomable that such an establishment is meant to appeal to the local mass market. Rather, it is probably intended, like many other symbolic facades around the city, to show off just how modern a state North Korea is. This particular cafĂ© blares out to the world that North Korea’s elite are hip with global consumerism in the 1980s. It’s just a shame that the prices are very 2013, where a drink may be equivalent to a full day’s wages for a citizen lucky enough to have a job.    

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