Friday, January 1, 2010

The Bitter Coffee Shop

I haven't been here for a long time. In a real way at least. I was here for all of five minutes back in October but outside of that it has been since July that I actually sat down and spent time here. I used to be here all the time. Almost every day. I never really liked it though. I only come here because it is the closest place to my house.  The people aren't my crowd. And there are, of course, the signs. "When customers - people who have purchased things here - are looking for a place to sit, please yield your seat if you are finished consuming what you have bought here."  Now, granted, they have reasons to be bitter.  They were kicked out of their formerly spacious location due to ignorance and bigotry and forced to cram into an area half the size.  Their client base, however, continues to grow and only so many seats can fit in this little area.  But aren't coffee shops all about sitting around for hours on end?  Cruising around online, chatting with friends, reading a book?  Aren't they designed to be places where people meet and talk for hours and hours?  I think they could be a little less bitter about loiterers.  I will admit, I do like the community table situation though.  I don't sit there much but it creates an interesting people-watching scene.
As I sat down and began unpacking my things, I realized, "I am going to be doing this a lot nine months from now."  Ok people, don't freak out!  I know that anything measured in nine months increments instantly brings to mind drooling infants in onesies.  But it's not that.  Nine months from now I will be wandering around a new place on my own.  Finding a place to live, finding a local market to shop at, finding hidden places to read my books, write in my journal (thanks E and Sara!), and blog about the experience.  I will have strangers to make silly jokes with and cafe folks who will know my drink of choice.  I will spend time in that huge bookshop by the park, the really old one with seemingly endless levels that smells of old bindings and slowly-deteriorating acidic paper.  I will make a point of noticing something new every day (though I don't think I will have to try very hard) and learning the history of the places that intrigue me.  I will do my best to absorb as much as I can both in school and out.  That city is a fascinating and mysterious place and I hope it reveals a little of itself to me in the short time I will be there.