I never thought I would be writing about a favorite, okay, most frequented, coffee shop.
I have long disliked coffee shops. They sell outrageously expensive items and going to them has become, for some, a way to flaunt "upward social mobility". There is a certain pretentiousness to it -- or that may just be me.
I have never engaged in those sticker-completion exercises with planners as the prize, either. Although I have been using a Starbucks planner for the last seven or eight years, all of them were gifts -- for a time, from one person, and this year's, from yet another. I like those planners -- they are nice to write on. I like notebooks, generally. What I do though is cover them with an opaque gift wrapper. It's as if I don't want people to know I use a Starbucks planner (okay, now you do).
And though my kids and I each have Starbucks tumblers for home use -- I have two, actually -- all of those were gifts.
I'm eating my words. Now when I'm not at home or in the office, I am usually at this coffee shop in this mall. It's my public office.
First, convenience. This mall is of walking distance from MOO -- my other office, also known as "raket". Sometimes I go to MOO and then Port Area where Standard is is just so far away. And since I have to sit down and start doing newspaper work at 4PM regardless of where I am, it makes perfect sense to work here, too.
It's also easy to get to this mall and back. Far, yes, but quite comfortable. It's one bus ride and FX ride from home; going back, it's a long bus ride.
Third, wifi is free and strong in this area so I don't even have to use my Globe Tattoo.
Fourth, I don't take fancy coffee anymore. I have hot tea, either mint or chamomile. One teabag, worth P100, lasts me two tall cups -- good for eight hours.
Fifth, the mango yogurt cheesecake is nice. Not mind-blowing, but subtly, richly, good. On some days, I get it.
Sixth, the staff knows me. They know that when I come in, I practically camp out. They usually know what I like to order. The guard is courteous and he watches over my things when I get up for a break.
Seventh, the large table is just that -- large. It seats eight, but normally there are two or three of us. I outstay everybody. The chair is of the right height and distance from the table. Believe it or not, these are make-or-break factors especially for someone like me with a back and posture problem.
Eighth, below my table is a socket so I'm plugged in all the time. No danger of being "lowbat".
Ninth, because it's this mall and everything is here, I can think of things I want to eat and things I want to bring home and grab them here. There's banks, stores, even a church.
Finally, this mall is at the center of the metro. Asking friends even my kids to sometimes meet me here would not be too much of an imposition.
I'm just about ready to leave now. A full day's work, I just put in. TGIF!!