Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 1
I arrived at a quarter past nine. My first venture into going to a location to write. I really had no idea what to expect. How busy would it be now that the roads were snow and ice free? I had some idea of how bad the house bound wanted to get out and rejoin the world of face to face conversations, yummy treats and warm drinks. After all that was part of the reason why I was here, but my main objective to be here was to observe and write. I am committed to focusing on my writing this year along with continuing to hone my photography skills. I make general observations wherever I go but I want to take that to a deeper level which means taking the time to just sit and watch.
As I stepped up to the counter to place my order for a cranberry walnut muffin and a Chai latte with skim milk, no whip, I noticed an assistant standing close to the order taker and listening intently. As I soon learned, the assistant was "in training". Haven't we all been there, that feeling of inadequacy, even though in the rest of our life we are fairly confident.
The assistant received her instructions; muffin placed on a paper napkin on top of a clear plate, then put in the microwave and press number 2 (obviously the perfect muffin heating setting.) Once out of the microwave, add the fork, knife and the pat of butter. The assistant delivered it to my table in record time. Her next task was the making of my Chai Latte which she seemed to master in short order and again she delivered very promptly. The new assistant will do well, I have great confidence in her.
As I settled in with my muffin and steaming Chai, I assessed the tables around me.
One held a group of three ladies in their later 60's. They were quite fascinated watching me as I unpacked my bag; journal, pencil, writing book that we are reading in my writing group, and last but not least my DSLR camera with the 50mm lens attached. I had homework to do for my 50mm class and what better place to do some people photography than in a coffee shop.
At the table closest to me sat a college professor and a student. The student, a girl in her senior year, reminded me of my daughter. Mallory has always had great relationships with her teachers and professors. The professor and girl were discussing her plans for life after graduation. Medical school seems to be in her hopeful future.
The last table my eyes settled on was directly across from me. It contained a lone college student. On the table next to him sat his backpack. In front of him was a cup of coffee, his laptop and his phone with ear phones attached. Soon the laptop went away and out came a text book. He went up to refill his coffee cup and as he sat back down away went the textbook and out came a magazine. Seems to have a bit of a short attention span. I briefly glanced to the ordering counter to see how the assistant was doing with a more steady stream of new customers. I glanced back to the table where the college student had been and poof, he was gone. Like I said, short attention span.
As much as I wasn't sure how this whole observation adventure would go, I must confess I enjoyed it and look forward to more coffee shop outings. The big dilemma I have now is, do I return to the same place or do I try a new place to continue to expand my horizons.
I guess you will have to wait and see.