Saturday, February 2, 2008
Chilled fingers fighting the keyboard, Tori Amos playing over the speakers, I am, on this very cold day with smatterings of snow, to be found in Woyton coffee shop. This is the most Americanized coffee shop I have found other than Starbucks. That is, it has couches, and all the employees wear the same maroon polo shirt, and I don't feel guilty for sitting here for hours on end taking up space for my writing, thinking, or reading, as my mood dictates. If you want a European cafe experience, skip right past Woyton, and go to Cafe Klinge on the corner where they have the "Taglich Kaffee und Kuchen Angebot," (daily cake and coffee special). Woyton is my destination today because part of its taglich Angebot is an internet connection. Yesterday, for confused and insufficient reason, Telecom discontinued our telephone and internet services at the house. The other factor which makes Woyton a justifiable place for me to visit, is the fact that it is one of the places that the youth of the city spend time during the day. Other than the few in my language class, I have begun to lose contact with people my age. My time is spend most often with people ten-twenty years on either side of my age, and proximity to my peers is, however superficial, refreshing. So this afternoon I am making my home in a corner of this coffee shop. With my greatcoat supporting my lower back, and hot coffee amply (though not necessarily economically) at my disposal, I have spent the charming hours hiding from the cold. It's not all that common, as far as I have been able to discover, to find snow in Oldenburg, but this afternoon we had an honest fall. Not the deceitful flakes that make you wonder whether you're seeing snow or rain, but the large clumps that would completely blanket the earth in a matter of minutes, were it as cold on the ground as it apparently was up in the clouds. Of course it snowed today only because Holger, Sabine and I were talking about the joys of spring and summer over what was my late breakfast and their lunch. Still, I am grateful because I still perceive snow as a rare commodity, and find myself thrilled every time I see it on the other side of the window enclosing my place of warm repose.