For all the coffee drinker that I am, I rarely ever go to Starbucks.
Because, the dark roast there kills all the subtle flavors that are otherwise present if the beans are not burnt down to charcoal. Neither am I a fan of all the different concoctions they produce with coffee as the base--as I often remark to people, with all the cream and sugar, those are desserts not coffee!
Yet, I have a Starbucks gift card in my wallet. I have had it for two years, actually. A graduating student, who was moving to Wales with his Welsh wife, gave me that Starbucks card as his gift--because he, like most students in my classes, knew all too well that I even have a coffeemaker in my office. One student told me that whenever she came to my office, the aroma made her feel that she was entering a café.
So, anyway, I retained the gift card more as a trophy. A reminder that a student thought I was worth having as a professor. Thus, I never used it.
Until very recently.
I got myself a cappuccino and sat outside the Starbucks store, at a table right outside the door. It was a gorgeous sunny day, just the right temperature for me sit half in the shade of the parasol while enjoying the sun's rays partially on my body.
At the table to my left were three young adults having a good time, though it looked like they were frequently forcing themselves to do real work.
To my right was a solitary young woman, sipping her coffee and reading.
A solitary young woman, and me. This is where the pickup happens, you are probably thinking.
A huge pickup, with remarkably over-sized tires and one of the loudest possible engine roars pulled up. The driver, a woman, was holding a cellphone on one hand, and at the same time trying to park it into a spot that clearly was not intended for vehicle sizes like this one. I wondered why she didn't want to drive towards the many other vacant parking spots a couple of cars away.
Then, even while holding the cellphone, she started backing into the spot. Visualize this: huge pickup, driver holding a cellphone on one hand, squeezing into a regular-sized parking spot in between two small cars.
I looked at the solitary woman--she had stopped reading and, like me, was following this action. And she slowly shook her head, as if to mean, "I cannot believe this!"
Meanwhile, one of the cars was getting ready to pull out, and the driver wisely decided to stay put until this action ended. The pickup driver expertly eased into the spot.
The license plate says a lot about the driver's attitude, I suppose!
She climbed out of the pickup, continuing her cellphone conversation as she entered the store. A petite woman she was, in total contrast to the huge pickup.
The solitary woman went back to her reading. I was practically done with my cappuccino, which was not all that exciting. After taking a couple of photos, I walked towards my vehicle.
Soon, I was back on the road, looking forward to going home where I can brew coffee to my tastes, and enjoy it in peace.