Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Last Coffee Shop

          The last coffee shop I visited was near the Hilversun train station. Not Hilversun Noord Station, the one three minutes south where I got off to make my transfer to Berlin an hour before and realized it didn't exist. Just plain Hilversun - the station commonly referred to as "Nenkbeench" or "Nobench" by the Dutch, as it is thought to be the only multi-platform station in the region, perhaps all of Europe, that offers nowhere for its passengers to sit while they wait for the next train.
          The coffee shop was called "Coffee Shop." A middle-aged Middle Eastern man of medium height and build was behind the bar - with exactly four feet of counterspace on either side of him, if I recall correctly. He was speaking in Arabic with three other men. He said, "hello" to Anthony and I. We said we wanted drinks and he pointed to the joints menu. I said lemon iced tea and he handed me a can of peach iced tea. We went to the back and rolled a joint from coffee we already had. Then I thought it best not to smoke in the shop, equating it to bringing your own six pack into a bar. Then  I thought it best not to smoke at all, equating it to purposefully making myself easily confused before engaging in an activity that I already failed at while I was less easily confused. The iced tea was terrible, like drinking the saliva of someone who'd been chewing gummy peach rings.

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