The 13 Stages of Navigating a Coffee Shop

Ah, the coffee shop.

  1. You make your way to the door and begin to open it. It appears to be stuck, but there is actually just a very tall man standing directly behind it, because the café is so crowded inside. You realise this only after trying to open the door into his back for a minute or so. You hope that he is too far from the ground to have noticed.
  2. You’re in!
  3. Do you just sit down, or is this one of those coffee shop/ food hybrid places where you’re supposed to wait to be seated?
  4. Not that it makes much difference, there are no tables anyway.
  5. To leave, or to hover expectantly, in the hopes that someone will take pity on your awkward looking soul?
  6. You hovered, it worked. The nice old couple by the window let you in. Thank you, nice old couple.
  7. Now, does someone come to take your order, or do you go up to the counter? So many questions. You stare longingly at the cake.
  8. You wait for a while, occasionally endeavouring to catch a waiter’s eye by sitting up a bit taller in your seat, raising your eyebrows expectantly and opening your mouth as if to speak, but never actually achieving more than a single ‘um’ when they walk past.
  9. You give up and go up to the counter. They tell you that someone will come and take your order. You return sheepishly to your table. You feel ashamed.
  10. Eventually someone comes to order. You are very happy. So happy, in fact, that you forget what you actually wanted in the first place, and panic order a double espresso and a large coffee cake. You don’t like coffee, but you consume all of it, because it was expensive.
  11. You start to enjoy the atmosphere. Children are laughing. ‘This is nice’, you think to yourself. ‘I like it here.’
  12. Eventually you leave, having forgotten all about the stresses of your earlier experience. You decide to come back again soon.
  13. The cycle repeats.

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