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Ah, coffee shops. Birthplace of those sweet, sweet frappucinos, where it’s perfectly okay to spend about a hundred bucks or so for something we used to drink at a fifth of that price. [firstpara]

Call it a cultural phenomenon, and as with any cultural phenomenon, it involves people. If ever you've been to Starbucks, or some other equivalent, these are the folks you’ve met in line, shared a cigarette with, waited along side at separate tables; people who've ticked you off, intrigued you in some way, enjoyed watching. You probably may have been one of these people too at one point in your life, too!

And so, as the weekend approaches as do another round of quality time at the coffee shop, we list the five folks you meet in coffee shops. The next time you find yourself sipping a cuppa joe, you'll have fun trying to categorize which ones they are. Enjoy!

The yosi dude
Distinguishing marks: Has cigarettes on the table/in between his fingers/in between his lips…and not a lot of anything else.

Coffee and cigarettes are an excellent combination, hence the presence of many smokers in coffee shops. But the yosi dude we’re describing here can live without the coffee, even if he is indeed, in a coffee shop.

His main reason for being there is really just to grab a chair outside the shop, take a seat, and light up one of those cancer sticks.
Some are probably just waiting for someone, while others are just there killing time, occupying seats reserved for the buying customer.

And most of the time he’d be content to not be part of that crowd. There’s also a remote possibility that the yosi dude, has never, in his entire life, gone beyond the coffee shop’s smoking area, into the actual store, and ordered a cup of joe.

The yosi dude leaves when he’s done smoking or until of course he notices the security guard’s leery gaze on him.

The coffee shop virgin
Distinguishing marks: Has this semi-confused look in eyes. Sometimes asks “San ba o-order?”

There aren’t a lot of coffee shop virgins anymore these days, but when all this coffee shop business first started, they were dime a dozen, which included most of us. Admit it: there was a certain awkwardness the first time you ordered coffee at the local Starbucks.

First, there was that litany of a menu to deal with. Many of us who grew up with Nescafe knew coffee was coffee, and that was that. But here we go inside this establishment and we see behind the counter, a huge board filled with alien words like ‘espresso,’ ‘frappe,’ and a lot of other French-sounding…things.

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It was a confusing time. And so our friend who’d been to one to these places before notices our confusion, and suggests we go for some mocha frappe. We oblige, but not without saying something to hide our lack of coffee shop menu knowledge. Probably something like “Yeah, favorite ko nga yun.”

We order just that. We go for the “venti” size because when the clerk asked if we’d like the venti cup, we just said yes, even if we didn’t know what exactly that was.

We also give the clerk our name, although at that time, we didn’t know why they’d like to know our name. But we give it anyway just to get it over with. We fork over our money, and we wait at the counter, and we wonder why the clerk isn’t giving us our fancy coffee. So then the clerk says, “Sir tatawagin nalang namin kayo pag ready na.

And that’s how the story of a typical coffee shop virgin goes.


WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES
IMAGE FROM "COFFEE AND CIGARETTES" (2003, UNITED ARTISTS)

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