Caffeine commemorations

Oh, sweet caffeine. Right as I’m writing this, my cup of coffee is standing next to me. Almost empty, unfortunately. Though I always like a good cappuccino in the afternoon, I must say that today I needed it. Let me tell you one thing: waking up at 3:45 am every weekday is quite a thing to do.

Quite exhausting, to be precise. I remember that once I wrote a friend about what hell was for me. I wrote that it meant waking up at 4 am every day, eating cat food and doing useless things all day. Except for the cat food, I’m living that hell. I wake up so early to go cleaning, that’s my job for a month, but in fact dust always returns. But of this is hell, well, it could be worse. I didn’t know it would pay so well here…!

Luckily, we take coffee breaks while cleaning, which are the moments I look forward to just a little too much. They have good coffee there, I have to say. Twice every morning, I have my cup of caffeine, and that makes me happy. I’m not even sure whether it wakes me up or not, but at least it gives me a break and liquid. It doesn’t matter whether the caffeine wakes me up, or the action of drinking something, as long as it does something. Needless to ay I’ve come to appreciate a good cup of coffee. I’m no longer stating that it tastes like plants (which I did when I was about 6 years old).

I’ve only recently discovered that I do have some coffee moments that I will never forget. Not only all these coffees at work will be whirling around in my memory forever. Coffee moments can be very intertwined with a wide range of emotions. Who knew!? The coffees at work remind me of the fact that I’m actually able to get up and work at 3:45 am every day, which is a very comforting thought.

Equally as comforting was the coffee moment on my last travel in Poland. It was a part-time solo trip, which I enjoyed more than I could have foreseen. Unfortunately I shared a hostel with very young and very loud people (I would have gladly thrown them into a well). So on the second day, I was very tired and I decided to go have a coffee. I ended up in a brown sofa in a cosy cafe, with barely any people, very good coffee, and my Polish book. It felt good. I was walking around all alone, sat there on my own, and I liked it. This trip made me realize that I’m okay with going to a cafe on my own. That feeling is worth a lot.
Also: very good coffee for not that much money!

Somewhat more sad was the coffee moment the day before leaving Poland. I had high hopes that I could go for a long walk past all the most important places that day, but unfortunately it was drizzling and raining all day. After having packed almost everything, the apartment felt too sad and empty to stay, so I went to our nearby coffee bar and had a very good and big cappuccino. Sadness was inevitable, as the weather was gruesome and the apartment too empty, but having that big, good coffee there was surely a good decision. A decent goodbye where all others failed because of the rain.

Last week I finally finished my bachelor paper and turned it in on the hottest day of the week. I wore my very much adored long black dress, put the thing where it belonged (far, far away from me!) and went for a coffee. By accident I was served by someone I vaguely know, who started speaking Russian with me (how painfully hard that was for me…!) and paid my coffee. It baffled me in the best possible way. Some people are so kind, I love it. While I was drinking this coffee and reading a bad book, someone I adore quite much showed up and we spent a good (warm) afternoon together. The free coffee and pleasant talk in Russian was a good start for this all.

On a related coffee moment, when my parents visited me in Poland, we had a coffee in a place where you had to order at the bar. So I stood there translating from Dutch to Polish. Apparently this caught the attention of the barista, who started asking me how I knew Polish, what and where I was studying and so on. It was hard to understand him, because he was making our coffee with loud machines, but we talked nevertheless. When the coffee was ready and paid, he shook my hand and said: “It was nice meeting you.”
I think I needed more than an hour to grab myself together. How often do baristas tell you “it was nice meeting you?”. How often do they shake your hand? I was genuinely overwhelmed. My parents started planning our wedding immediately. I honestly don’t even remember whether the cappuccino was good or not, but I think it was. At least it was the most memorable barista ever.

Very subtly coffee fought its way into my life and managed to be a part of some memorable moments. Who knew that the drink that tastes like plants would become a source of inspiration for a blog post? (This goes both for the coffee and the blog, actually.) Above all these moments remind me of the fact that actually, I can do a lot more than I thought. I can travel alone, live abroad, get up at 3:45 am, it’s all possible. All you need is good quality coffee. Isn’t that wonderful?

Inspired by Top 5 Coffee Moments (with some tm thing that I cannot reproduce) by Nicholas Conley.

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Once upon a time in a coffee bar

Once upon a time, when I still lived in Poland, I was working in a very atmospheric little coffee bar close to my home. The coffee was very good and very cheap as well, in comparison to my country and other cities. Of course I didn’t live in Warsaw. There were bikes hanging at the wall, even better, bikes cut in half. The menu was taped on vinyl plates. It was a great and quiet place, perfect for work.

So I sat there, trying to do something useful though I couldn’t focus – nothing new. Then I noticed that the music was getting quite 80s. There is some special beat about this music, which makes it easy for me to put songs into categories. It’s such a “danceable” beat, you know. Take any 80s song and you’ll know what I mean.

So they put on this cd with the unmistakable 80s beat, and modern as I am, I shazamed it. (For those who are like I once was: shazam is an application that recognises music. Sometimes. Anything but classical in my experience.) It turned out to be SoKo.

SoKo? I’ll kill her SoKo?

Exactly. Apparently she has this 80s inspired cd now, which was just perfect to put on when I was packing all my things on the rainy last day in Poland. The catchiest (apparently this is not a word, but I’m keeping it anyway) songs are Who wears the pants? , My Precious and Temporary Mood Swings. Then I stumbled upon the white raven, as we say here. One of the songs on the cd wasn’t like the others. It was a quiet, sad break up song. I played it almost on repeat.

From then on, I have been stumbling on more songs of her, which without exception were played almost on repeat. I don’t know what it is, but something about those songs catches my eye, or rather, my ear, and makes me addicted. After Keaton’s song, as described above, there was Don’t you touch me, which has this beautiful sad anger about it. It beautifully builds up to a climax. Great song when you are struggling with liking someone who doesn’t like you back.

On a quiet, not peaceful evening before the exam I still had to take here, I put on I’ve been alone too long, and immediately had a new target to play on repeat. It fitted the situation a bit. I was almost all alone in the city of my university, where I dramatically didn’t want to be. As soon as I arrived in that city, I felt everything overwhelming me. Everything I had been through there flushed over me and fucked my mind up. I was happy to stay over at my brother’s place there, so I wouldn’t be confronted with more memories. While revising, I put the song on repeat. It has this calmness that I need when I revise.

The exam went well, and I spent a great day there, with friends, beer and sun. I crawled out of the wave of memories, luckily.

I’m still not free, because I have to finish my bachelorpaper. Since I write on a computer, modern as I am, I play music all the time. It’s extremely boring when you work without music, isn’t it? So I clicked on yet another SoKo song, Why do you treat me like you do? , which is a cover. It has a sort of country thing to it, although it’s not country. Lovely to sing along, I can tell you that. Catchy, but in a very different way than the 80s style songs. But catchy still!

Right now, my latest crush is Treat your woman right, which is an equally sad song about loving someone who doesn’t like you back. (Okay, I may have issues, what about it?) Above all the haunting humming makes this so very touching for me. It’s hard to explain what it is, but it has this feeling to it, this atmospheric sad feeling. I try not to kill it by playing it too much, but that’s hard. I could hear it all day. And I am hearing it all day. I can’t stop it.

This is a serious music crush, as you can see. I like the way this music is intertwined with my life though. It’s not important whether I relate to the lyrics or not, although I do for a part of course, because the music in itself is enough to make its way into my head and heart. Next to that it reminds me of the time spent in the coffee bar, of the rainy day I spent packing, the strange evening spent in the city of my university, and everything that came after. Life is unexplainable and unpredictable. And life needs a soundtrack. For the moment, mine is SoKo.