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American couple run coffee house in Dunhuang, China's Gansu

People's Daily Online)  14:54, December 11, 2012

Kevin Gilley (C) helps two Indians who can't speak Chinese order dishes at a barbeque restaurant in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, April 29, 2012.

Among the barbeque restaurants at the night fair in Dunhuang, a historic city in northwest China, a coffee house stands out. It sells coffee and pizza.

Dunhuang is a famous tourist destination in Gansu Province, so the coffee shop attracts many customers. The owner of the coffee house are the Gilleys, an American couple. Kevin Gilley and Sheryl Gilley came to China in the 1990s and visited Dunhuang, and they were attracted by the historic relics and local culture. They came back again in November 2008 and opened the coffee house, named as Oasis Cafe, for the environment of Dunhuang.

This was the first coffee house in Dunhuang opened by foreigners. "I hope I can run a coffee house in a city of China all along," Kevin said. "I think I've found the right one when I encountered Dunhuang, a small city with fabulous history and culture."

The Gilleys were afraid that seldom people would come here at first. However, many local residents are interested in foreign drinks and food. After learning coffee culture in Oasis Cafe as customers, they opened their own cafes in Dunhuang.

Furthermore, thousands of tourists from home and abroad visit the historic relic every year, bringing a great number of customers to the coffee house. "I'm glad that we can meet people with different cultural background here," Sheryl said.

"It is like a small world." Oasis Cafe runs from 2:00 p.m. to the hour before dawn next day. Waiters here can speak English, while Gilleys can speak a little Chinese to customers. "I will stay here. Everything is fantastic except occasional sandstorms," Kevin said. "If I have another choice of settlement, the result is Dunhuang again."

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