January 3rd, 2011

Remember To Give

I decided to try something a little unusual for me, and get out again to access the WiFi at Starbucks. I am writing this entry on the netbook, but because I'm having all sorts of issues actually establishing a connection I'll probably be posting it later. Anyhow, let me tell you what happened on the way in here.

So I head out to catch the bus on a sunny, if cold day. No one is really aboard, which I don't find surprising as we're still hanging onto the last vestiges of an all-too-quickly fading vacation. I only hear a set of high heels go clacking past me to a seat further back.

Off at Columbia and Franklin, and along the street towards Bank of America I go. I need to withdraw $20 in cash for some erands I will be running later. I meet a woman who says she works at some sort of nonprofit agency in this area. I of course tell her my major and a bit about what I hope to accomplish.

Into and out of the bank with no difficulties. As I exit, I see the woman who worked with me last Tuesday on her way in. I guess she'd been on break. We exchange pleasantries and I bounce on out to the street. I wonder if she's single.

Anyway, as I cruise along the strip searching for the correct entrance to Starbucks, an individual with a ragged-sounding voice approaches and asks "Where are you trying to go?" I tell this person (I couldn't distinguish if it was a he or she because of the unusual pitch. I think the barista, isn't that what you call them at Starbucks?, referred to this person as a she.

I asked the person behind the counter what he'd recommend to one who doesn't know a whole lot about coffee. "Um, I don't know. We have a bunch of flavors. Do you like things that are milk-based?" "Yeah sure, I'll try something like that." "Ok, how about a vanilla latte, or a (I forget the other kind of latte he mentioned)." "I'll try the vanilla." "Alright, that'll be $3.02" he said.

The individual who'd encountered me outside had followed me in, and so volunteered to assist me to a seat. I sucked on the drink and settled in to begin trying to log on. I felt a tap on my shoulder. "Uh," this person said in a whisper: "I need $2, please". Unsure of whether I'd heard them right I said "Huh?" "I said I need $2." Of course they knew I had it on me: I'd used a 5 to make the previous transaction. Even though I was kind of planning to use that as part of the change I'd need later, I opted to go ahead and hand it over. I obviously have no idea what this person may have been or is going through, but given how things have gone for me I owe about a thousand acts of kindness to the universe. I guess I just hope that helps out a little.

And now I will probably get out of here and head on back home, since I can't actually get online. I hate trying to figure out how to deal with all these screens you must penetrate to gain access in these establishments. At least in Caribou Coffee, I just had to put my e-mail address in and I was able to hop on. I tried checking the box that says I agree with the terms of service, but I couldn't figure out what I needed to do next. Ah well. I like doing this though, as interesting things almost always happen. Let's see what fun I can get into next time. Till then, have a good Monday.