Monday, November 9, 2009

"Guy on the bus", or "Learning to drink coffee - Day 3"

Went to the orthodontist today. After missing the train and having to walk there, I arrived exactly on time, had my teeth looked at, and was free ten minutes later (I don't have braces, but might in the future, depending on how my teeth behave over the next few years). I still had lots of time until I was meant to be back in school, but needed to get some lunch, so I headed to Columbus to grab a sammie and a coffee (three days in a row - pretty good for someone who doesn't like it. Not sure if I've noticed any caffeine side-effects yet).

I bought a "ham roll" (which despite having avocado and being made of some tasty bread, was rather smaller and less satisfying than expected), and a "mocha latte" - advertised as being a "chocolate flavoured latte with chocolate foam". Well, it barely tasted like chocolate at all. It was definitely stronger than boarding house coffee, but was nicely warming on the way down, so I kept drinking it.

After catching the bus back to Ranfurly, I bought a Whittaker's Sante bar (dark chocolate) for it, to try and add some chocolateyness to the drink. The Whittaker's bar usually make very nice hot chocolates - simply dissolve one in hot milk. However, by the time I got to the Ranfurly dairy, bought the chocolate and put it in, my coffee had cooled down significantly. The chocolate melted in sludge without dissolving, and then solidified once more as the coffee reached lukewarmness. I was going to microwave it in the common room once I got to school, but was intercepted by Sinead, who told me in no uncertain terms that it is a sin to microwave coffee. So I drank it cold and sat in the library scraping the solid chocolate out from the bottom of the cup with my fingers.

But! That is not the point of the story! (despite being the third instalment of the coffee saga)

The most interesting thing that happened between the orthodontist's and school was that there was a very cute fellow at the bus stop. Tallish, but sort of small and slim at the same time, without looking especially young - his face looked... not old, but worldly. He could have been anywhere between seventeen and thirty-five. Stripey shirt. Sort of smiley. Scruffyish dark brown stubble, little sideburns and fluffy light brown hair. The sort you want to ruffle.

Anyway, when I came up to the bus stop (well, patch of pavement outside Bivouac), he looked up just as I was checking him out and made eye contact. I looked away. Might have blushed. Pretended not to look at him until the bus came - or buses, seeing as two arrived at once. I got into line for the first one, and he walked over to the second one. I looked in the window of my bus, and saw that there weren't many seats free (I'm one of those people that really prefers not to sit next to strangers on the bus or train), and decided to hop on the second bus. Because, you know, there were more seats free. Not to ogle him or anything (*nonchalant whistle*). I sat a few seats back from the front, on the left, and he sat in the first seat on the right.


So maybe I did ogle him a little. Well, his hair at least, seeing as that was all I could really see. As I ogled I thought, the way I am wont to do when I see interesting strangers out and about. It's quite fun to look at people you see around in the city and try to imagine what their life is like, where they are going and what they are doing. Although he had two seats to himself, he was sitting in the aisle seat, unlike most people (myself included) who would sit in the window seat so that they can stare out the window and pretend to ignore their fellow passengers. I wondered if he was in a hurry to go somewhere, and wanted to leap out of his seat and out the door as soon as the bus came to his stop.I never did find out whether this was his intention, as I got off the bus before he did. Ah well. He fulfilled my eye candy quota for the week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Learning to drink coffee - Day 2

So today at dinner, I walked up to the table beside the coffee machine to get a mug. The mugs are stacked on trays, and for reasons of structural integrity you should take your mug from the top tray. There were two mugs on the top tray - one was the same as all the other mugs, and the other was also identical, with the exception that it was shorter than the others - more like a teacup. With Paul's advice in mind, I decided to make my own mochaccino. I put milk into the short mug, cappuccino into one normal mug and hot chocolate in another, and took them to my table, having added half a tablespoon of sugar to the cappuccino.

This time I was able to have a few sips of the cappuccino without flinching, but I still played chemist with the three mugs until I had a drink that smelt like coffee and tasted like chocolate. It was good. We had ice cream and this juicy berry stuff for dessert, so I add ice cream and berry juice at some point. And that was good. Sort of drowned out the coffee though.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Learning to drink coffee - Day 1

At dinner, I went to get a hot chocolate from the drink machine, and then thought "Wait a minute, I'm meant to be learning to drink coffee!" Why am I meant to be learning to drink coffee? Because I want to see if I can learn - I love the smell of coffee but not the taste, and people have told me that it can be an acquired taste. So I'm seeing if I can acquire it.

My friend Paul had said "Start with mochaccinos", but the machine only had hot chocolate, hot water, black coffee and cappuccino. So I pressed the button for a cappuccino.

It didn't fill the mug entirely, but I'm used to that - it does it with hot chocolate too, and I usually top it up with milk. So I topped the cappuccino up with milk and took it back to my table. I took a sip, and it taste fine until I got through the froth onto and into the actual coffee.


I put it down and pulled faces at it. Iris leaned over the table and said "Did you add sugar?"


"The machine doesn't add sugar. You have to put it in yourself."

"Oh, right. That might be why it tastes so bitter, mightn't it?" I carried it back to the table next to the coffee machine where the mugs and sugar are kept, and dumped two tablespoons of sugar on top of the foam, where it slowly dissolved through it and into the coffee. I stirred it with one of the little wooden popsicle sticks that they give us instead of teaspoons to stir our drinks with and tried again, back at the dinner table.


I put the mug down again. "That is way too sweet." Note to self - spoonfuls of sugar are usually measured in teaspoons, not tablespoons. Duh. I had thought that that sugar spoon looked a little big. I kept drinking, slowly, and alternating the coffee with orange juice and the chicken curryish dinner glop. At one point I said to Tap, sitting on my right: "Maybe it's like drinking whiskey. You don't grow to like it, you just get used to it." Whiskey's not so bad, but the first time I tried it I told Dad it tasted like turps. He was horrified by my lack of appreciation for fine booze!

People can grow to like all sorts of things, just because they're used to them. Like city traffic noise, or loud music, or going to hospital. Personally I don't mind hospital (getting to lie in bed sleeping and reading and drinking ginger beer!), but I dislike the circumstances that put me there (painful things like peritonitis and broken bones). Although I have to say I prefer coffee to city traffic noise.