Panic on entry to SuperCappuccino. I have a comfortable double double routine. Unable to fathom the order desk. Bored male turns out to be order taker. Have no idea what is on order so ask for a decaf double double. Told the fixings are on table behind me.
He disappears – hard to do in an open plan layout – and I am left staring at an uncooperative debit card terminal.
Male returns. They are out of decaf. But he can do something else which involves operations on an American. With no idea what he is talking about, I meekly concur and once more attempt to make payment. He disappears.
Male returns tells me to step over to a second counter. I do not understand why I am being asked to move. I am slow to comprehend that this second location is the place where my beverage will be delivered to me.
Stand in what I think is the wait line. Ahead of me, a man is decanting a paper cup of coffee liquid into a steel container. I am totally overloaded at this point and working hard to remain abreast of all that is taking place. There is a woman behind the counter grinding food in a blender while adding squirms of chocolate syrup and ketchup, then some ice and other liquids. I presume that is my decaf in the process of being constructed.
The man with the steel cylinder is not the line. He leaves. I remain stuck, frozen in space, three feet from the high counter, valiantly attempting to understand this foreign experience. I am concerned that my distress may be visible to others. I stand stock still until I am finally able to make my way to a table. My first response on reaching a place of relative security is to reach for my phone and attempt to document my experience. Until I write it out, I am lost.