Two nights ago, a new acquaintance invited me for coffee. We ended up staying for an hour and a half in Seattle’s Best somewhere in a toll plaza in SLEX because it rained very hard and it would be risky to drive at night in that weather. In between coffee, blunt jokes, and langka, I realized that coffee shops have become quite indispensable in today’s society.
For starters, coffee shops are the first place friends think of when they agree to hang out. It must be the influence of “Friends“, you know, that TV-show that launched Jennifer Aniston‘s career. They’re five friends who regularly meet in a local coffee shop. One of them, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), even got a gig there as a performer.
Second, a lot of deals get hammered out in coffee shops. One time I was having snacks in one of the cozy coffee shops here in San Pedro, Laguna when I saw our mayor come in with his bodyguards. Turned out they were waiting for someone who arrived about five minutes later. They were talking seriously and skimming on documents. I have no clue what they are talking about but it seams like it’s a “deal.”
Third, coffee shops are perfect for extramarital dates. Because coffee shops are so popular, it’s not unlikely that you will bump in to old friends, former classmates, etc. So men who are doing a little something extra, extra on the side choose coffee shops for date venues. Should someone see them with a woman other than their wife, they can always introduce the other woman as an acquaintance they bumped into the coffee shop.
Fourth, coffee shops are replacing the library as the “IT” place to study. Go to any Starbucks branch and you’d see students congregated on couches with their books sprawled on the table and their laptops on. My friend once commented, “Those kids are just pretending to study. How can you get any studying done in this crowded, noisy place?” She’s got a point! Between dark mocha frappe and the cute boy on the next table, digesting the intricacies of power politics in medieval Europe can be quite challenging.
Fifth, coffee shops are the new mobile office. This is very similar to the preceding item. Many professional virtual assistants I know are working from their home offices. But once in a while, they step out of their boxes and do some work in coffee shops. I am one of those and the change in environment does me some good.
Sixth, and last for this post, is people prefer taking a dump in coffee shops than in mall comfort rooms. Are you grossed out? Well, it’s true! Top coffee shops like Starbucks have one of the cleanest comfort rooms around and it’s perfect for doing your dirty deed. I was once at Festival Mall in Alabang and I had to wait about 10 minutes for the Korean girl to finish her “THING”. Gross but perfectly human.
I am sure you can think of other things that people do in coffee shops. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts and ideas, even if it is something gross… or totally wicked!
P.S. Thank goodness they coffee shops don’t include gym equipment in their shops. I wouldn’t like to see someone on the pull up station while I’m sitting down on the couch and licking the whipped cream off the top of my frappe!