Sunday, August 30, 2009

Strong Latte, Gingerlee, East Brunswick

I left the house to pick up my bass amp from Meg. It's been there for a bit over two weeks. Des, her housemate, borrowed it, then moved to New York the next day. Then new housemate Ben took responsibility for getting it back into my possession, and a lengthy game of voicemail tennis ensued. But we couldn't get our timetables to work out. Then yesterday I noticed on Twitter that Meg got back from New York. Oh, I forgot to mention, she was over there too for a while. So today I finally picked it up. I can tick that off my list. And hear myself when I play bass. It turns out Ben is in Perth.

Anyway, as I was out and driving, I figured I may as well get more coffee. I also figured that, due to the amount of Latte, home and Espresso, home there has been this week, I owed it to the blog to not only have coffee somewhere other than home, but also to visit somewhere I hadn't been before. That place with the Synesso (that I could spot from my car) on Lygon St seemed like a good distance: a relaxing Sunday drive that wouldn't take more than four minutes each way.

It turns out it's called Gingerlee. I'm not sure what the significance of that is, but I'll be back here for breakfast soon, I'm sure. I'll do some more detective work then. Today the barista seemed to be doing a fine job back there, and his haircut reminded me a bit of Bishop, but I could see there might be a bit of a wait for a takeaway. Luckily, Dan was having breakfast. A bit of conversation led to the realisation that he was playing in one of the bands (yes, one of) at the wedding I was attending that night. Melbourne is a small world. Especially when you're going to a musician's wedding, you're a musician, you know a lot of musicians, musicians play gigs, gigs are often at weddings, and you're talking to another musician who does a lot of gigs. So maybe it's not that unlikely after all.

The conversation went for a long time. According to Dan, you don't usually have to wait long for food. He was right. Their food came out long before my coffee. My chat-while-waiting-for-coffee was rapidly turning into rude-interruption-of-breakfast-date. My coffee, it seemed, really was taking a long time. When it finally came out, I said my thankyous and goodbyes, made for the door, was confused by the small child almost running into me on the way in, banged my elbow on the door on the way out, and managed to drop my strong latte exactly outside the door. Exactly.

I could have cried, if I hadn't already reminded myself that it was largely only spilt milk. I sipped what was left in the cup, regained my composure, looked slightly mental as I took a photo of the scene with my coffee-soaked hands, and slunk back to the car. The complexity of the situation hit me like a bulleted list to the head:
  • The replacement coffee might take another ten minutes.
  • I only had $1.50 in my wallet: not enough for another coffee.
  • The barista might take pity on me and give me a replacement for free, but one shouldn't rely on that.
  • Technically, I had tasted the coffee, and it was really very good, so technically I could still blog about it without going back.
  • BUT I've been here for this long, I should at least get a whole cup of coffee out of it. I had to go back in.
So, with that in mind, my plan was to go in, explain what happened, and order another one. Worst case: I would spend the waiting-for-coffee time walking, in the sunshine on a beautiful end-of-winter Sunday afternoon, to the nearest ATM. Best case: free replacement coffee, under the If You Drop It We'll Replace It For Free! warranty.

"I can't believe it. I dropped that strong latte right there," I said, pointing out the front door where there was a huge milk splodge still trickling down the footpath.
"Oh no! I'll make you another one."
I reached for my wallet, but Bishop said, "Don't worry about it!"
Phew. I was relieved that I wouldn't have to perform my feign-surprise-that-I'm-broke routine and go to the ATM. I went out the back and washed the latte off my hands, and when I came back the replacement was waiting. It was much quicker than the original. And just as strong, and just as tasty. Can't wait to try the breakfast.

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