Jing…cling…ching. The door opens and along it brings the moist air and noise from the street. A young girl, probably in 20s, enters and walks down to the counter. I go back to my work and the cup of coffee, now more of a coffee residue due to the prolonged delay of its consumption. In one corner, closer to the door, I am occupying a round wooden table and few wooden chairs. This corner, although seemingly a seclusive place, is a vantage point for the best view of the things going around here.
If you walk opposite to me, you will reach the counter where you can place your order, alongside the young girl at the moment. Generally, you will be received with a smiling face which belongs to a cheerful old man who runs this place. The menu, displayed on the top, is printed in a large format with black italic fonts on a white background which now appears yellowish. Some of the prices in the menu are updated regularly as evident from the multiple white paper notes pasted over repeatedly,perhaps keeping up with the economy. When these notes started to peel off, within few days, they stopped correcting the prices in the menu but as such continued revising them. Customers would happily purchase couple of things only to realize the actual prices are more than those printed on the menu. Now I happen to have that knowledge, from past experiences. Some of the items in the menu are crossed off, also while keeping up with the economy. In the menu, you can find regular beverages and somethings to go along. But only a regular customer would know that there are more things available here than that printed on the menu. I happen to have that knowledge too, not from past experience.
Now instead of waiting at the counter for your order, you may walk along the counter to find lot many tables to occupy, if available. The side wall here is painted with the history of this place in yellowish and light green background. It still bemuses many of the tourists who stop by here just to have a cup of coffee but go back with some historic knowledge in addition to caffeine. If you decide to walk along another wall, adjacent to the history wall, you will be welcomed by large number of framed pictures – few paintings, few old black and white photographs and few family portraits. If you continue to walk along this wall without taking your eyes away from those pictures, you may bump into me or the corner I usually occupy. The adjacent wall to my corner is made up of half-glass and half-concrete giving you a feel of the weather without really experiencing it.
The place appears dimly lit but that’s because three of the five bulbs of the chandelier, hanging in the center, need to be replaced. There are 4 other bulbs placed in similar but small-sized chandeliers, equidistant to that bigger chandelier in the center. The yellow light from these bulbs floods this place in a golden light, like a palace of a king. Jing…cling…ching. The young girl left with her coffee and so has the moist air and noise of the street. I go back to my work, seeing the rain through the droplets on the glass window.
Image by Jaypeg