I can’ t believe I typed this, but I might be finished with coffee shops. I am not sure if it is me, getting older, finding more creative juice in nature? Alternatively, have people just got less interesting, more self-absorbed and polarized with anything different? I still remember walking into one of my favorite shops located in New Orleans, long before the internet, and it didn’t matter if it was a high powered southern lawyer, businessman, bum, buckster, psychic, bartender, chef….it was an amalgamation of everything that came together. Seersucker suits playing chess with a guy that might have to panhandle for his food.
The New Orleans shop was a rare space I found on the planet that was a microcosm of humanity coming together in one shared area with immense diversity, yet, everyone got along.
The coffee shop to me is a place where ideas/thoughts/people could come and connect and share. It was also the place I would brainstorm because people would trigger ideas for me. Sadly, since the invention of the smartphone and the ability for people to connect to everything, we have become less social with the person sitting or standing right next to us. With star trek, they always were talking about the Klingon “cloaking” ability. Who knew people could make things right in their visual sight, disappear.
My rationale for the coffee shop is that when I walked in, I was 5th in line and the four other people in front of me, didn’t seem to order a coffee, instead, some exotic bar drink that required 34 steps to complete, with particular instruction on every element of the coffee drink.
While each person waited in line, they stared down into their mobile texting or looking at social media.
I was going to walk out, as I have my coffee makers, but the process of watching people n the line fascinated me. It was like a herd of people all following a mindless path, no cash, all credit for more debt and rewards.
When I got to the front of the line, I looked around me, confused that this was indeed able to order. After hearing the complexity of the previous orders, I sheepishly said, “can I simply have the largest black coffee you have, with a few ice cubes in it?”
The request stunned the barista, as if, “wait that is too simple….you just want a cup of coffee?”
“Yes ma’am, just a cup of black coffee.”
Then when I handed her cash to pay for it, she stared at that like, “Wow, people still use this?”
“All over the world they do, but I don't’ think the herd in the USA realizes how much they are giving up in information and data to get their “rewards” to fly on bad airlines and think they are in first class.”
That got quite a laugh. It must be because I am near a university and the baristas are smart here? (rim shot)
Now I went to get a refill, different barista. I have to wonder if people listen or if getting a black cup of coffee is too simple for people to comprehend in a coffee shop anymore? Time to finally build the mobile coffee shop that I can roll off a truck and use in nature. That seems to be what is opening my mind more to new ideas these days.