Thunder is clapping, lightning is striking and I’m holed up in Quacks, a hip bakery coffee shop, waiting out the rain, sipping taboo hot cocoa and munching a peanut butter cookie. Heck its scary outside, i gotta have my creature comforts don’t I? I wasn’t the only one who had the bright idea of escaping the waterlogged streets and possible flash flooding. No, there are at least twenty other people- mostly singles hogging tables for two or four. I wasn’t going to remain standing, goodies in hand, so i marched up to a table with a woman sporting headphones which were plugged into her HP laptop and asked if i might share the table with her. Fortunately she agreed or i would’ve had to try another table and that first rebuff could’ve set an uncomfortable precedent.
Anyway, I’m here, munching, sipping, writing and occasionally watching the vertical lake outside. Up until arriving at this place of delectable pastries and comforting drinks I had been mulling over what I might write about today. And now that I’m here i have chosen to report my glimpse of coffee shop life in Austin which I believe might be different from places elsewhere. This is not a Starbucks. They use real plates and cups here.
First off, in Europe it is common to share tables with strangers. Here in Austin, one must get up the nerve to intrude upon someone to sit and share a meal, drink or laptop space. Some people are quite affable, and willing to engage in conversation, while others prefer to be focusing on their electronics, communicating with others at a distance, rather than the person across the shared table. Its a shame as far as I’m concerned, since I love meeting people.
I am currently sharing a table with a young purple haired woman who is multitasking: text checking, reading on her laptop, sipping some sort of coffee drink, taking bites of a streusely thing and listening to music on headphones. Adding a human interaction might just be too much. People at adjacent tables are engaged in conversation, one guy is talking across the room at someone who is hidden by a corner…I don’t think he is merely talking to himself, but then one never knows. Mostly the crew here is solitary, though this fluctuates.
Oops my table mate has found a lone table and is moving, so now I will be available to possible company. In the meantime I will stare at the loaded bakery case and observe the people waiting to add inches to their waistlines. This place does sell really good stuff…filled with real butter, eggs, sugar and that evil gluttonous gluten flour, none of which is on my dietary plan to reduce blood pressure or kill off the virus which has been knocking me off or rather on my ass. But the weather is at fault here and I claim no responsibility whatsoever.I may pay for my fear induced indulgence later, but so it goes.
I find it interesting that since I began my “diet” I have had few cravings for sweets and when I eat said items I discover they are cloyingly sugary and not to my liking, even though today is a slight exception…I managed to eat and drink it all, like a good neurotic who abhors being out amidst the thunder and lightning.
This purveyor of fine carbohydrates has a very steady flow of walk-in traffic. People can be seen carrying multiple boxes or bags of cupcakes, cookies, pies, pastries etc. back to their wherevers, to the adulation of many, with exception of those who actually remain faithful to their dietary restrictions.
Ah the sky is brightening, the rain has begun to let up and I’ve finished my forbidden items. It may be time for me to head out once again, but wait, what’s that i hear? More thunder? I’m sorry I’m too full to stay here any longer. I’m going. Wish me luck. Stay dry wherever you are.