The 5 Coffee Campers You See EverydayNovember 3, 2013
- Diana CamachoWords
When you spend enough time at any particular place, you start to notice things. You realize that the cute barista is never there on Thursdays and Saturdays, that the tall girl by the table at the door regularly goes out to make a call exactly fifteen minutes after she finishes her coffee everyday , or that this one corporate yuppie (wearing a skirt that’s always a few inches too short for the office) always comes in at six, orders a sandwich, cuts it in two, and saves half for takeout. It takes at least half an hour before her boyfriend picks her up in his motorcycle, and they ride off together into Ortigas traffic.
You know, just normal, non-creepy, totally not being a stalker observations during study breaks.
Spending hours glued to my seat with just a law book (yes, on a bookstand) for company can get pretty tedious. It’s not at all quaint, despite what Taylor Swift would have you believe. Even if you’re hardly moving, camping at your local Starbucks for extended periods can get draining. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a few a people who (oddly) seem to thrive amidst the freezing temperatures, overpriced beverages, and the rude wildlife hogging the power outlets at your neighborhood coffee house. Here’s a handy guide to help you spot (and survive) these caffeine-fueled creatures.
Let’s start with the obvious, the students. They travel either alone or in packs, with at least one of them wearing a hoodie or varsity jacket proudly declaring their tribal colors (along with their school’s name plastered in big, bold letters). Further signs include the bookstand, the twisty reading light, and the multitude of colored highlighters in every imaginable shade. Warning, be sure to only approach with extreme caution during exam (i.e. hell) weeks.
The Corporate Slave
Coporate slaves almost always camp in groups and are generally the loudest in the coffee house jungle. One can be easily identified through its long-sleeved polo, understated tie, and versatile messenger bag combo. Corporate slaves are extremely territorial, it’s impossible to make them quiet down and desist from treating the coffeeshop as their personal office if they are busy trying to close a deal, holding a team meeting, or conducting employee interviews. Warning, some specimens have been known to spread DOM vibes. Take the proper precautions to innoculate yourself.
Other campers may come and go, but there will always be at least one hipster. These are the easiest to spot, looking like they jumped straight out of your Tumblr dashboard. He sits by himself in the corner, as appearing like an introvert is a key component of their species’ mating rituals. His gear of choice are an Apple laptop and noise cancelling earphones to let him listen undisturbed to the musical stylings of Bon Iver or some other band that’s so underground, even the members themselves don’t know their name. Though appearing at first to be the most anti-social, hipsters are the best options to approach when you need help as they’re often very accommodating. This is because aiding strangers with odd requests are seen as quirky adventures they can blog about later.
The Power Mom
She either comes in by herself or with a child (and accompanying yaya) in tow. She parks her Longchamp or Michael Kors bag on a couch and reads a magazine while she smokes, letting her kid play games on her iPad (if he or she’s not indiscriminately running around the coffee shop instead). Don’t let the coiffed hair and tasteful (but expensive) jewelry fool you, disturbing the Power Mom is extremely dangerous. Approach at your own peril.
As if studying for hours isn’t frustrating enough, there always has to be one couple exchanging lovey-dovey stares and giggles a couple of tables away from you (if you’re lucky) or outright trying to eat each other’s faces (if you’re not). Sometimes, they provide unintended entertainment when they’re clearly fighting but don’t want anyone to notice. (But guys, c’mon, we notice. We all do.) Always remember to be discreet in your observations though. Just like small birds and stray cats, they scare easy and will quickly run away once they realize every single person in the joint is watching them.
The next time you find yourself nursing your venti Frappuccino a little longer than usual, try spotting all the interesting types of coffeeshop campers around you. If nothing else, it’s a great way to strike up a conversation with that cutie at the corner. Who knows, that Taylor Swift video might just come true.