My hair appointment was not until 12.30pm. It was only 11.30am, and I had already been loitering in several shops to the obvious annoyance of the staff. No one wants a customer who has no intentions of buying. I had a good hour to wait, and in our small town, there’s only one place to do that when your alone and in dire need of somewhere to wile away an hour or two, the Merrie England coffee shop. I’ve blogged about our Merrie England coffee shops before, they attract a varied age group, some young mothers with their offspring, some older patrons who frequent the tables to meet up and enjoy a good natter, some lone patrons such as myself, who maybe just fancy a coffee and a sit down before going on their way to elsewhere.
As you walk in, the counter, always filled with appetizing goodies such as their delicious home made apple pie to give just one example, is on your left. The Merrie England staff are always attentative and I was served immediately.
“Tea and a Gluten free Turkey salad sandwich please.”
The sandwich has to be made to order, so I was instructed to go and sit down and one of the staff would bring my sandwich to me once made, and so armed with my cup of tea I looked around for an empty table. No luck, but I noticed that my favourite place had one man sat in it, engrossed in looking down at something in front of him on the table. Carefully navigating my way down the aisle between the tables, cup and saucer perched precariously in my hand, I made my way to the right hand corner at the back.
“ Is it okay if I sit here?” I asked the man.
“ Yes, of course! I’m going soon anyway!” he replied. Sitting down opposite him, with my back to the rest of the other tables, I placed my shopping bag on the empty seat beside me, noting as I did so that the item he was engrossed in on the table was a Kindle. Hmm. That peaked my interest immediately because as I’m such an avid reader, I’ve been considering getting one myself. Always strapped for storage space in our tiny flat, I’m constantly having to recycle my books practically as soon as I have read them. But how to open the conversation about his Kindle? I decided to act dumb.
“ Is that a Kindle your using?” I asked.
“ Yes it is!” came the reply.
“ I’m considering buying one myself, as I love reading. Have you found yourself reading more since you bought it?” I enquired, genuinely interested in the answer.
“ Yes, I think I have. It’s the convenience I suppose.” he replied. I then asked him if you could now get most books on the Kindle to which he replied the affirmative. Shortly after, he rose and left and I hoped that I hadn’t made much of a nuisance of myself, asking my questions of a stranger, but I simply couldn’t sit at a table with someone and not make polite conversation, its not in my nature to do so.
As soon as he had vacated the corner seat, I moved into it, finding it still nice and warm. People were still leaving and arriving, as soon as one table became vacant it was quickly filled with new faces, all earnestly engaged in conversation with each other. Deciding to do an experiment of sorts, I took out my phone, and took a picture of them all, enjoying a tea or coffee and a good natter. Would anyone notice?
I think I already knew the answer, and its why I prefer to sit tucked away in the corner seat.