Have you ever had a somewhat silly goal. A little something you have wanted to do that is not really ambitious or adventure worthy, but still remains something that you would enjoy? My little ‘something’ has been that I have always wanted to work at a café. Yes, I am sure many people dream of spending their days lounging in comfy chairs, drinking espresso while reading or watching people walk by. I want to be the one behind the counter, mixing up yummy contraptions, serving muffins, interacting with people, and just enjoying the process…
I used to frequent two privately owned coffee shops in Korea in 2006. They were near a school I worked at, and I loved that they spoke no English, served delicious mochacinnos, and always served me a lovely pastry with every mug (a beautiful long, slender glass mug). The other café was nearby and was run by a single Korean woman, who was so friendly and warm! She always welcomed my by name (which she remembered after my first visit), she used Nestle Quik with her mochas and always had the cutest little cups and saucers for dining in! They were mix-matched, dainty, modern and just fun to drink out of. It was a place I took my students for our weekly conversation classes. She appreciated the extra business, so I always got extra perks (and some Korean lessons) from her!
I later fell in love with a Starbucks near the next school I worked at (an hour away, and in a very rich city). While trying to escape some not so nice co-workers, two of my most favorite gals and I would go to Starbucks every lunch hour…and sometimes for a quick ‘to go’ in between a class or two. We would brave the extreme winter cold, downpours from monsoon season, and sweltering heat in the summer to walk that one block so we could go see Yumi (our favorite barista) and enjoy our beloved beverages!
The lovely Miss.Margie would always laugh at how excited Janice and I got about these daily visits…I even had a Korean man once tell me how impressive my ‘ha ha’s’ were…come to find out, he meant my laugh! We would talk, relax, kick up our feet, eat cinnamon snails (cinnamon rolls) and sip the hour away! I associate very happy memories with Starbucks because of these two ladies and I don’t think a visit will ever be quite the same!
In Japan, I found another Starbucks. I would go there while James was in his morning pre-school class and write a curriculum I was working on for a ‘dream school’ I hope to open one day. I would read, write letters to my Nanny, talk to a Japanese friend, or enjoy the company of my amazing friend, Kara! Throughout the 3 years we lived in Japan, Kara and my visits took quite the transformations! They went from being with my James and her two girls, to being with her two girls and son, and my two boys. They could be some pretty loud and chaotic coffee dates…those poor baristas! Those visits were always special because it was with a dear friend who was literally with me the whole time we were in Japan!!!
Now in Germany, I have found my place (for right now, I may find another to have on the side). It is run by Italians and only the family works there! LOVE the small family run cafes! They already know me and the boys and when I went there yesterday I told them about James and they, of course, showed their concern and gave well wishes. This was my first day out in a week, and that was the place I wanted to go! My neighbor, Eva (pronounced Ay-Fa) joined me! I never seem to lack a coffee date!
We chatted for 3 hours, I practiced my German (even ordered in German), and watched the mother and son bicker back and forth in Italian…so funny! It always feels relaxing to me to enjoy a cup of coffee in a new place, a new culture, and just learn new things. I have practiced Korean, Japanese and now German in cafes all over the globe! That, to me, is super special!!
Now, if only I could open my own little family run café where I could serve people the care, kindness and comfort that I have received at Cafes for the last decade! I even told James about it and he said he would want to serve the drinks and wipe the counters!
What little dreams have you had? What silly goals have you thought about? What do you like about going to a café?