Just as I’ve wrestled with the presence of Starbucks here in Prague with mixed feelings, it would appear that I’m not the only one. This morning I read an interesting article from Prague 360 entitled, “Starbucks brings us up to date with Civilization” and the author was definitely a little cynical about Bucks’ arrival to the “Golden City.” They used strong words like “imperialists”, “neo-imperialism”, “communism” and more. Here are two sections that I found interesting:
What, then, is exactly wrong with Starbucks’ arrival in Prague? It’s just another cafe among hundreds is the facile answer, and the wrong one of course. Just as American citizens have more weight on their shoulders for the state of global affairs than say a Moldavian citizen, Starbucks strikes a chord with everyone. It’s a symbol of something far greater than just coffee that’s roasted too dark. It’s the neo imperialism. It’s McDonalds. This Starbucks on Malostranske Namesti might not be as momentous as the McDonalds in Moscow, but it’s on the same track. Prague is not that wild place anymore. You can’t buy a house for pennies or have a different supermodel girlfriend for every day of the week. You can’t buy ten beers for your local equivalent of one (with a few exceptions). Yes, Prague is part of Western Europe now.
Like with everything else here in Bohemia, we know that these new imperialists will one day leave, like the Russians, and the Germans before that, and so on. Look at The Metronome in Letna Park — tick tock, tick tock. Time will pass and the present nonsense will go away, probably to be replaced by presently unknown nonsense, but no matter. It will all go away eventually. Tick tock, tick tock.
Read the whole article HERE. For the record, my director, Billy, and I are meeting at Cafe Calma today instead of Starbucks. It was our original plan to go to Starbucks, but we felt inclined to turn it down today. Hmmm, sad or liberating? Not quite sure!