Service for the People?

Many businesses operate according to the philosophy that they exist to take money from people. Merry Mart #24 in Beijing is under no such delusion.

First, let me back up and note that this was another great day in Beijing. Visited Gongs and Drums Lane, South Road in Xicheng District, Coal Hill, Houhai, the Bell Tower, and a very good hotpot restaurant.

Yet my dream of finishing the day on the same up-note was capriciously ground into the dirt. My attempt to finish the day by purchasing cornflakes for the morning was cruelty dashed by what I take to be a middle-aged female manager at Merry Mart #24. This grave injustice occurred even though other people were checking out at the time.

Serve the people, Merry Mart #24.

Is this the worst tragedy to befall a person — nay, a people — this year? Certainly. In living memory? Probably.

You will have succeeded in your selective enforcement of your closing hours, Merry Mart #24 in Beijing. But note the terrible cost of such a policy: tomorrow morning, I will not have two bowls of corn flake cereal, but only one.