The 5 Coffee Campers You See Everyday

November 3, 2013

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.

The Student

The Student

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

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.

The Hipster

The Hipster

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

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.

The Lovers

The Lovers

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.

What other types of coffee campers have you seen in the wild? Any survival tips of your own? Let us know in the comments section below!

Diana Camacho Diana Camacho

Diana Camacho is a perky little energizer bunny whose idea of fun is writing a paper on the Semiotics and Curatorial Aspect of Social Media, or some other pseudo-intellectual subject matter. She is a Karate black belter who randomly says “Hai, Sensei!” by instinct, and a law school nerd who incessantly speaks in pompous law jargon. On the weekends, she plays football as an excuse to eat "recovery food."

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37 comments in this post SHOW

37 responses to “The 5 Coffee Campers You See Everyday”

  1. Addi dela Cruz says:

    I rarely hang out at coffee shops since college, but this article brought me back to those days. There were also the soshalera girlfriends catching up at one corner and the cool kids just smoking and laughing by the entrance.

    PS. The illustrations are so pretty, huhuhu.

    • D Camacho says:

      As pretty as the one who made them! 😉 Thanks Rax for the purty illustrations!! 😀

      • Sergia Susana says:

        Amen to all that! 🙂 I love the little details in the illustrations: the bottle of Polo Blue for yuppies, the cotton pique polo shirt for the lovers (who are probably on a first date, judging by how they appear to be dressed in what some people call “their Sunday Best”), the somewhat Birkin-ish handbag of the Power Mom, and so on. 🙂 Great job on the article too, D! Very astute observations. 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Actally, oo. She’s pretty ^^

  2. chari says:

    The illustrations are amazing!

  3. Raine Santos says:

    I love this article!! <3 this is so trueee…i love the way it was written and the illustrations are veryy prettyyyy <3

  4. Birdie Salva says:

    One more to add: network marketers convincing their friends to join 🙂

  5. Rob Cham says:

    rad illustrations

  6. Justin Calingasan says:

    wow.

  7. J says:

    Bon Iver is not underground FYI

  8. Raxenne Dosher Maniquiz says:

    Yay thanks guys! o/

    HAHAHA kainis ito, Diane! “This is because aiding strangers with odd requests are seen as quirky adventures they can blog about later.” Lol. Kasama yung #OOTD sa blog. Haha.

  9. Raim says:

    hahahah this is so true

  10. Raim says:

    the illustrations are awesome!

  11. Kenneth says:

    students: most dangerous types are the med and law students. college students are usually disturb-able 😉

  12. John Q Taxpayer says:

    A fine article that visually distinguishes the various social strata at the local coffee beanery. Compliments are in order for the Corporate Slave, the Power Mom, and the Lovers who actually purchase beverages and pastries (as evidenced by the wonderful graphics) for their sheer enjoyment and not merely that they may find justification in the continuous consumption of electrical power and the protracted and widespread occupation of crucial table space as some campers unfortunately do in blatant disregard of one or more laws set forth in a previous and equally thought-provoking article: http://www.pepper.ph/the-7-laws-of-coffee-shop-camping.

    P.S. The siren’s “gesture” on the green tea frappuccino cup is uncannily familiar :))

  13. jeremy says:

    “…or some other band that’s so underground, even the members themselves don’t know their name.”

    hahaha! nice one ms. camacho.:) and i love the graphics. keep writing.:)

  14. Mikka Wee says:

    Awesome piece, guys!!:)

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  16. Johann says:

    there’s also the “killing time person”, who is frequently looking at his/her watch and nursing that little drink while reading/texting/looking around.

    again, nice article. and cute illustrations! (talagang me “lurve” dun sa lovers!)

  17. Judith says:

    Entertaining article, awesome graphics! <3

    Couldn't stop snickering while reading The Hipster :))

  18. Start-up businesspeople who don’t have their own premises yet i.e. waiting for the big capital so that they can get incorporated and have their own office. Normally, IT/software geeks and geekettes, or events planning people na kulang na lang magdala ng printer, easel sheets, and whiteboard sa coffee shop.

  19. Adi Leuterio says:

    Hilarious! A great quick read and the side bars just hit it spot on!

  20. Angelica says:

    Amusing article plus beautiful illustrations makes for a great read! Kudos to Raxenne Maniquiz!

  21. Stefan says:

    +1 for using Nike Janoskis for hipster shoes

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