Monday, October 21, 2013

It's a dirty old night here in Dublin. It started raining at around 7am and it feels like it never stopped. However, I'm on a mission to lose a few pounds in time for the party season, so I ignored the weather and cycled to work, getting utterly drenched in the process.
Man, was I feeling sorry for myself by the time lunch rolled around - which I hope explains why I found myself in the Starbucks near my office. This was a bit of An Event for me. I've never had a satisfactory experience in an Irish Starbucks. In fairness, I'm not their target customer: I'm too old, I drink tea, I have a cheap Samsung laptop. But, look, I can change my ways, I drink cappuccino every now and again, and I used to own an iPod...
*smiles wanly*
For my part, I've never been convinced. They are always chilly affairs with little atmosphere, the menu is consistently baffling, and they always seem to be staffed at about 150% optimum standards, with peppy young people in aprons jostling behind the till to take your order.
So today, I denied myself the pleasure of ordering a pumpkin spice latte (I'm not much of a coffee fan, much less the sickly syrups baristas have begun chucking in) and grabbed a smoked salmon bagel.
I fully expected a heavy, indigestible affair - doughy, undercooked bread with miserly scaps of salmon - so I was pleasantly surprised to find large slices of (Irish) smoked salmon on a delicious bagel that had a light, enjoyably chewy texture.
Was it a thrifty choice? Hm. To tell the truth, it was a fairly unusual lunch option for me: I usually go to work on Mondays, armed with a couple of kidney bean burritos, fresh from the slow cooker. But I knew that supper was sorted (I cooked a double helping of amatriciana last night), and I needed a break from the office. I decided to forgo the coffee, so lunch cost me *just* the price of the bagel. Which was €4.95.
So, no it wasn't an altogether thrifty choice. I can't even say it helped me clear my head, because I spent the break looking at my smartphone, ignoring the filthies I was getting from the iPhone users nearby.
But I could almost imagine myself ordering there again - yaknow, if I could come to terms with the poor broadband, confounding coffee menu, the perky youngsters fighting to write my name on a mug... 

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