Just a little fix…

Shanghai is indulging in many ways.  Over a month has passed and I still have the urge to photograph every tall building, smell every flower, and taste every delicious meal.  I have tried everything from banquet style Chinese food to Taiwanese take-out to Hong Kong chicken’s feet and I have enjoyed (almost) every bite, but sometimes you just need a little something with that extra kick.  Yes, I mean coffee.  Preferably with a warm brownie on the side.

Apparently I am not the only one who thinks so, judging by the number of successful branches of Starbucks in popular shopping malls and the scattered coffee shops throughout the city.  However, nothing I have tried so far beats the proximity and the taste of the newest café around, Sculpting in Time.

When we first arrived in Shanghai and in Tonghe, the apartment complex in which we live, there was a nondescript office building where students can pick up keys, mail, and jugs of water among other things.  After about a week of being here we noticed some signs of early construction and when we returned from Suzhou last weekend there was a full-fledged coffee shop, Sculpting in Time, up and running in that spot.

I found it most interesting how quickly the café was constructed and opened.  In a matter of weeks, it was fully furnished, had employees running it, and had a sign outside telling the world it was ready for business.  This makes me wonder about the quality of the structure; is this an example of reckless development?  It may be so, but it is already profiting and becoming more and more popular.  Even without the surveyed building checks that probably would have been performed in the United States and hindered the ability of the business to go up so quickly, people are trusting of the structure enough to go inside and place an order.  Students spend time there drinking coffee, chatting, and studying as it is a very comfortable environment.  When you are inside you really feel like you are back in a coffee shop in North Carolina.  As much as I am loving my experience in Shanghai, sometimes it is nice to have just a little fix.