It’s warm in here and the atmosphere surrounds me like a warm, woolen blanket. I always duck in here to avoid the bitter cold. The smell of cappuccinos, mocha lattes and freshly baked muffins are enough to lure any passer-by in. I have always loved this place since I first smelt the croissants and hot chocolate. In this cold winter weather, I find myself spending more and more time in here. My purse knows all about that, but its worth it. I’ve taken to skipping lunch in exchange for the sounds of people muffling the soft, gentle jazz music in the background. I watch the waiters in their snow white uniforms walking between the chairs as though on a tight rope. I bet everyone of these people could perform the tight rope if they got the chance. Some of them are even carrying two/three trays at once. I gaze on in amazement at these tight rope walkers as they maneuver around people and other waiters. I get passed a menu by one of them, as they unhitch a pen from their pocket, retrieve the notepad from their pocket and just stare at me as I scroll through the menu options. I order a hot chocolate and a croissant, then I watch as she dodges another waiter; she turns on her heel to go through the tables and squeeze around other waiters.
I’m enjoying the familiar, comforting noise of the people around me. I can hear the feet of people as they bustle in and out of the coffee shop. I see the early afternoon drizzle outside. The way the clouds are gathering overhead can only mean rain, from where I sit close to the window, I close my eyes and imagine the wind and rain. While my eyes are closed, I hone on the sound of the people. The rain is over-powering, but the people are still somehow able to hear each other. If they are shouting, I can’t hear it. It all sounds muffled. Their voices make the rain sound louder somehow. It’s hitting the ceiling hard now and everyone looks angry. I have to laugh–I’m alone here. I have no one I need to talk to. All I have to do is sit still, smell the coffee and hear (or at least try to hear) the sounds of the people as they attempt to talk. The rain seems to settle down a bit and the people haven’t even realized it. They all shout above the imaginary rain. I laugh again. I notice my waitress navigate her way around the waiters and between all the tables. She holds the tray high above her head continuing her balancing act as she approaches me. Once she arrives at my table, she almost slides it down as though presenting me with a platter at a banquet. I’m used to this, but every time it makes me smile. She smiles in response and puts down my hot chocolate in front of me. She then puts down some extra sugar for my hot chocolate and my croissant on a plate accompanied by a serviette. I say thank you and take a sip. It is an amazing cup of hot chocolate. The aroma is warm and so chocolatey. The croissant only adds to the mouth-watering taste of the hot chocolate. It makes me crave chocolate–maybe after this I’ll go buy a chocolate bar or two. I expect nothing less from my favourite coffee shop.