When India’s first Starbucks opened in Mumbai, the line was so long that the local chai-wallahs made a killing selling tea and coffee to those waiting on line for tea and coffee.
I did not find it strange that people in India would wait that long for Starbucks. The glamour of Starbucks was the glamour of abroad, and as a child growing up in India, Starbucks coffee was as legendary to me as the mermaid featured in its logo. Had I never moved to America at age 10, I would have waited on that line, sipping 5-rupee ($0.092) chai. But I did move, 6711 nautical miles away to Closter, New Jersey — a burg with an abandoned school building, rich and not-as-rich parts, a Korea-town, three frozen yogurt joints, five massage parlors, ten nail salons, and a Starbucks.