Monday, January 28, 2008

How Starbucks Failed Me

I never thought I'd so desperately wish for a Starbucks, but in Bilbao, I found myself wishing just that. It wasn't a tall nonfat latte that I craved, but rather the cup in which it was served. A disposable cup. An insulated cup. A cup that could be carried out of the shop and to my dear friends who wanted hot tea. Friends who were unfortunately sick and stuck at a hotel with no running water. Tea with honey was easy to find. Tea with honey for take away was difficult. I tried a cute little restaurant where I'd just had lunch and they waved a porcelain teacup at me. I contemplated leaving my driver's license as collateral, but figured I'd try my luck elsewhere, after all, this was a city with lots of eateries. It was approaching siesta time, but since I'd seen Starbucks all over Barcelona, I figured my chances of coming upon one in Bilbao were decent. I headed towards another side street and came upon a Chinese restaurant that was still open. I figured they had to have tea. And they did. But sadly no to-go cups. And as I walked on, I realized the all the shops were closed, except for a single bar. I asked for two teas and the bartender handed me two tea bags. So I put on my most pathetic look and said my friends were sick and really, really wanted tea, but that we didn't have hot water. Thankfully the bartender didn't ask me why, as it was quite beyond my abilities to explain that the hotel was doing plumbing maintenance. He disappeared for ten minutes and came back with two tiny plastic cups, clearly made for cold drinks. He brewed the tea, wrapped the cups in some napkins and passed them to me. The napkins were a nice thought, but did nothing insulate my hands from the squishy, on the verge of melting cup. I got strange looks walking back to the hotel, but the cups were still intact.


Blogger RenĂ©e said...

You are a Super Friend!

3:37 AM  

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