Wednesday 26 September 2012

Thought Picnic: No stars for my coffee and no bucks for the WiFi

Starbucks to the rescue
For free wireless internet connectivity at the price of a coffee with strange names [tall, grande or venti] pretending to trendiness at Starbucks you can surf.
I usually have a café latte grande which in simple English is a medium-sized coffee with frothy milk, but it felt strange seeing the coffee being made.
Now, I have had student doctors gather round my bed, even had some sit in on consultations either with my medical consultant or for intimate topics of discussion without thinking much about it as long as they are not poking me with things or making the calls.
The taste of trainee coffee
It is the first time I have had an apprentice barista [not barrister at law for a vendor at a coffee bar] prepare my coffee as she was instructed through each step of making the coffee.
You could see she was not a dab hand that my coffee was in danger of coming short of the Starbucks quality I had grown accustomed to; there was not enough frothy milk to fill my mug that the instructor had to step in.
She might with time become such an expert able to train other baristas in making the Starbucks menu of coffee-bean offerings but I would have liked a little subtlety in the instruction.
Just ask
For a café full of people who I thought were using the free WiFi, I found out it was down, the jinx of my hotel seemed to be following me, but when I asked, the guys in the café switched it on and we were all able to surf for free.
I cannot be the most forward and assertive person around, I guess people just looked for alternatives rather than ask and that might be because they had their coffees in take-away paper cups rather than in a china mug as I always have mine.
Why ask?
This only lasted so long before the WiFi service became unusable in two Starbucks cafés around Chatelet des Halles that it was better to find a seat inside Forum des Halles for the free WiFi connection.
Where an annoying prick took exception to people taking pictures in the mall where he might have inadvertently appeared in their pictures after being the most irritating nuisance on the phone beside me. He was just about walked out of the place by security – Good riddance.
To think in one Starbucks café I only had to click on a button to connect and in another hardly 300 metres away I filled in a form to guard against terrorism just short of divulging my sexual preferences and blood type – I’ll rather be rescued by something freer than what Starbucks has to offer of over-priced coffee and a fraction of a carrot cake compared to what I will get in Germany going for literally twice the price. Daylight robbery!

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