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.

Forgetful darkness

I lit another cigarette when leaving the house. It was cold enough to see your own breath, but now I saw but smoke. Covered up in a big scarf and a warm jacket, I almost felt protected against anything. I walked on. Normally I’d go by bike, but it felt good to walk and buy time this way. It would at least take twenty minutes before I’d reach his house, where I’d throw off my scarf and jacket and drink a beer. Even the thought made me long to it, though the walk wasn’t that bad. There was sun, it did not rain, in fact it couldn’t have been much better. A bus passed by, with people piled and angry looking, and I was glad to be outside.
I lit another cigarette and thought of what was to come: beer, beer, more beer, night, people. I’d forget time and everything I was supposed to remember. It was even doubtful whether we’d even eat during this weekend. Perhaps when we’d get too hungry. But food, really, it didn’t appeal to me anymore. Life was good as it was at the moment, and we could not ruin that by doing things we were supposed to do. We’d just see what would happen.

The street I decided to walk past wasn’t as empty as the street I came from. People were shopping and buying stuff (useless, so useless) and talking or texting. It felt like they were from another world, like I had nothing to do with them. I floated past them, blowing smoke at them, laughing like I should. But that felt good. After all, I was still a part of them for a little while, until I’d arrive at his place and disappear for three days. Some of them smiled back, as they should, but some ignored me. Oh well. That’s typically human, I guess.

In a small, cozy coffee shop I bought a cup hot coffee with a lot of milk and sugar. Such cold days just ask for a cup of coffee. I stayed in the bar for about ten minutes, buying more time to stay in the real world, in the world of healthy, rational people. A safe world, for people doing something with their lives. It would be a pleasure to leave it for a while, but somehow it also scared me. Would I be able to return from the dark laziness I’d be in for three days? But all that mulling, worrying, like it mattered. I took my phone and texted my best friend I wouldn’t be attainable this weekend, then left the coffee shop. This time it was my breath I saw. Getting closer every second. Approaching the forgetful state I’d be in.

One more cigarette. I waited in front of his door until I’d had the last breath of smoke, then threw away the remains of the cigarette and rang the doorbell.

“Come on in.”