It draws me in every morning when Iím at home and not rushing off to work. The smell of the coffee, having someone prepare your breakfast for you when youíre still half asleep, the sounds of the other customers who wander in and out chatting and the music consistently playing in the background, getting louder as the customers as get louder.
I wonder what it is about going out for breakfast that is so attractive when I can easily have breakfast at home. I can even buy a $60 coffee machine from Coles now to make my own coffee. Itís not that difficult to make some fruit salad or toast with jam. Perhaps itís about being nurtured, having someone else doing this for you even though you can easily do it for yourself.
Itís also a break away from home. A chance to focus on reading the morning paper or doing some work on my lap top without the interruption of home demands. I can always go home and do the washing or clean the house. There always seems plenty of that work to do so perhaps being in the coffee shop reminds me of another life that exists away from the domestic tasks that can dominate time at home.
Working in the coffee shop is really productive for me. Iíve applied for jobs, written blogs, read my notes in preparation for job interviews, read a book, completed some work tasks, read my thesis, the list goes on. In fact it was probably when I was completing my thesis that I first began to use the coffee shop as a space to work, while also rewarding myself with coffee and a snack. I recall that it was a coffee shop attached a book shop, which has now closed. It became a regular event for me to attend and I could probably attribute the successful completion of my thesis to that coffee shop. It really made a difference.
Perhaps it also reminds me of the coffee shops I spent time in when travelling around Europe. Sometimes with others, but sometimes by myself I would sit in the coffee shop, often by the window to check out the people walking by. I would use this as a reflective space to notice the scenes around me but also to reflect on my trip and what was happening at home. It became a space to just sit and notice.
So, long live the coffee shop. My favorite one now opened about a year ago near my house Ė a little sanctuary in suburbia. Itís not quite Europe but it still provides that space to sit and notice.