Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The coffeeshop shuffle

Whirrr, grind, clank, whizz, glug glug glug...Here I sit at Fido's coffeeshop in Hillsborough Village on a Tuesday evening. As I was waiting for my computer to boot up and for the wireless to connect, I simply looked around and watched everyone as they gave their order and did the coffeeshop shuffle. There's giving your order to the quazi-emo looking person behind the counter, you know, the one with the tattoos and at least one body piercing. The wait for whatever you ordered...this time it's just a decaf Cafe Olei for me, so the wait is short. Some people, however, stand there for the better part of 10 minutes waiting for their double mochaccino no foam double whip blah blah blah. There's the initial sprinkling with cocoa, nutmeg, sugar, whatever. The first few sips and the quick revelation that it's not quite right. The return to the counter for more sugar, cream, 2% (well, you assume it's 2 %, even though the percent sign is mostly scraped away), or other coffee additives of your choice. Then, the search for a seat. Are you a cushy booth sitter or a tall tables and chair sitter, or are you the one who sits all by yourself at the six top? Important questions to be asked and answered. Then, you either settle in to read, check e-mail, journal, blog, listen to your ipod, etc., or you slide in next to your mates who, at some point this evening, have been at various stages of the coffeeshop shuffle as well. Ah, Fido's, you truly are an experience.


Reyes-Chow said...

Dude . . . you have mastered the new Pastoral Posture, "Cafe Observer" ;-) Hope you are well!

katie said...

are coffee shops the new "cafeterias" for 20/30-somethings? does our choice of beverage or drink align us with a particular genre of people or philosophy? i'm always a bit awkward at coffee shops by myself...i don't drink coffee, see, so i feel like everyone is looking at me like i'm an imposter. i like the atmosphere, though. does that make me a grown-up wannabe? hmm. nice observations.

Alan Bancroft said...

Yeah, I don't really dig straight coffee myself. I'm more of a "cake in a cup" kind of guy, you know, a latte or something with so much other stuff that the true coffee drinker wouldn't recognize it anymore? Sometimes I drink hot tea. Sometimes I step up there and order hot chocolate and feel like a 10 year old. Sometimes I'm in the mood for an italian soda. All in all, I think you're probably right that the coffee shop has become the place where grownups go to hang out and see other grownups.