Recently, I had to cut down on my coffee intake for health reasons. But I don’t cease coming to coffee shops.
Coffee shops are not limited to coffee. When I’ve had enough coffee for the week, I get a hot cup of marshmallow-chocolate or a glass of iced tea or fruit juice. It doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that I get a space to myself amid occupied tables of coffee drinkers and chit-chatters. There forms invisible force field around me and my table which no one can enter or disturb–whoever dares gets the pout and the killer eyes. I scatter my notebooks and pens on the table, leaving a small space for my cake and drink.
Why I love coffee shops:
- It is the best place on Earth. I love it even more than my own house. Of course, my home is the best place for me to lie around and do nothing or watch TV. But coffee shop–it lets me slouch and think nice thoughts and write. It lets me watch the world go by outside the window–the people, the cars, the clouds that fade into a night sky.
- It’s my comfort zone. When I need a sweet piece of cake or a nice music to lighten my mood, it’s all here. I don’t need to skip a song like I do on my mp3 because here every song is a good song, unfamiliar yet soothing. At the right day of the week or time of the day, I can enjoy the calmness of the place, with very few people and their inaudible murmurs.
- It’s a great place to be alone. Unlike in a crowded restaurant or at a concert where it’s fun to have companions, it’s not awkward to be alone in a coffee shop. I can have the perfect me-time and don’t care about people. And here, I always seem to get a convenient flow of thoughts. Thoughts that I can write. Thoughts that I share.
Sure, there are not so good and no-good-at-all coffee shops. Perhaps, just a few. And it’s not difficult to find the good ones. And when I find a good one, I leave a piece of me, a trace, a mark that says–swears–I will be back. Because it’s always worth coming back to a familiar, homey place.