23. A kind of weird barista?
After Mitch drops me of in the middle of the city, the first thing I do is to find a tourist office. I can’t just wander into this big city without knowing where all the stuff I need to find is. The first thing I ask the lady behind the desk is if she has got a map over all the shops - which she unfortunately don’t. I just ask her about the stores I need and she writes instructions down on a little piece of paper. I go back out of the office and go to the right as I’m told. On my way to the first shop I see a little coffee-shop. It doesn’t look like one from a big chain of cafes so I decide to go in and look at their menu. A boy in his late teens is standing behind the desk and smiles at me. I smile back and look at a little blackboard to his right. It has got the usual kind of coffees and I tell the barista that I’d like to buy a latté to go. He starts making it, but keeps looking over at me instead of concentrating on my coffee. I smile at him and giggle a little bit and he flushes and looks down at the coffee again. When he starts to pour in the milk I can see that his hands are shaking.
“Um… are you okay?” I ask him with what I think is a concerned look in my eyes.
“Ya.. ya I’m fine,” he stutters “It’s just that we normally have the same costumers and they’re all grey business women in their 30. But you! You are different! Your eyes have this… spark almost and you just look like someone who lives an amazing life.”
I don’t know how to respond to that.
“Umm… thanks I guess? I don’t really live an abnormal life or anything, so I don’t really see how you can get that from my eyes…” I look at my feet and wish he’d just give me the coffee and let me pay. I look up at him again and he quickly stretches out his arm and gives me my coffee.
“Umm would you like to um… go out with me sometime maybe?” he says almost so quickly that I don’t catch a word.
“I’m sorry, but I have a boyfriend,” I say and reach into my bag to get some money to pay with. I put down 10 dollars on the counter, grab my coffee and walk out of the store as quickly as I can. I don’t look behind me, don’t even care that I paid too much for the coffee, I just keep walking. That was really awkward - I’ve never been approached in that way. I guess the Americans are just more open about stuff like that.
I follow the steps on my paper and find my way to a second-hand bookshop after about ten minutes of walking. I close the door behind me as I walk inside and take a quick glance around. There are row upon row with old books. This is much bigger than my local one and a lot better organized. An old man comes out from a room in the back of the shop and asks “What can I help you with, young lady?” with a low, raspy voice.
“I just came to have a look around,” I answer him with a smile. He nods and sits down on a small stool. I walk down the aisles of used books and see I couple I’d like to buy. I pick them out and walk back to the man and pay. Now I’m off to a thrift shop, to get some new shorts and maybe some new tops.
I have 5 bags by my side while sitting and waiting for Mitch at the place he drove me to. My face lights up in a smile, when I see him pull up to me in Adams black car. I pick up my bags, put them in the back and jump in the front besides Mitch.
“How was shopping?” he asks.
“It was alright. I found a really cool second-hand bookshop and I got a lot of new shorts.” He smiles.
“Is it an okay birthday?” he then asks. I nod and smile. We drive home and we talk about the shops I’ve been to and some of the preparations the boys have done.