Nope, no dragons. Being close to the end of the trip, I knew that my luggage was dangerously close to already being filled to the absolute brim, but I was going to carry on this mug if I had to. I picked up the mug, and upon closer inspection the dragon design wrapped around the perimeter of the mug. The detail was exquisite! I knew I had to have it. The queue at this Starbucks was enormous, perhaps 20 people still ahead of me at this point. My hands were full...I looked at the shelf and there were only two of this design remaining. So instead of putting it back on the shelf, risking someone else buying it, I placed it on the top of the shopping bag I was carrying. The bag was filled with goodies from Shanghai Tang (my favorite new designer). The line was moving so slowly...it gradually edged along until finally it was my turn.
My Mandarin is nothing short of atrocious, I lack all confidence in speaking, so I blurted out my order in English, which the cashier had some difficulty understanding. I repeated my order, and I could feel the pressure of the line behind me. At some point the order was understood, and I fumbled with my currency to pay as quickly as possible to get out of the way for the next person in line. I shuffled along to pick up my drink, and glanced at the time, realizing I had spent way too long in the queue, so I picked up my coffee, and my shopping bag, and dashed off on my way.
It wasn't until I returned to my hotel later when I realized I had forgotten to pay for this mug. Horrified, I considered what to do next. By this point I was far away from that Starbucks. I knew this was bad karma, and just not something in my nature to do. So later that day, I found another Starbucks while out and about, and went in to pay for the mug. Attempting to explain my situation in English, the cashier didn't quite understand. I left, unable to right my wrong. The next morning, while at the airport I went into the Starbucks in the terminal, knowing the cashiers would speak English very well. I waited on this line...and waited. Eventually I got to the cashier, and ordered something and also explained I wanted to pay for a mug I inadvertently placed in my bag and forgot to pay for. The cashier was stunned at my honesty. The moment I paid for the mug, I felt my conscience clear. I suppose I owe that to my parents for instilling a sense of what is right and wrong. So thanks to the parental units, God, my Christian upbringing, and my Buddhist studies for keeping my values in tact and well balanced after all these years. So this dragon mug has much more significance now than just the design. It represents good over bad in this world, well at least that's what it means to me