Monday, July 01, 2013

The Starbucks Throwback Machine

I've time to spend before an appointment, cannot remember which of the cafés around don't do annoyingly bitter chai lattés and without feeling to much guilt head to the nearest Starbucks. They are globally reliable in the chai latté department, which I have researched and tested myself. 

It's Melbourne. It's winter. 

And as soon as I walk through those doors the smell of hot milk and waiting coffee,  and barista patter and easy music echoing from tiles and couches, these things dive into my memories and I'm standing in New York, Krakow, Prague, Nuremberg, Manchester, Glasgow, Inverness. I'm standing in transit lounges in countries I never properly entered. I'm standing in a country that is not my home. 

Newness is one of the biggest motivators for travel.  Learn. Experience. Try. This can be fatiguing, day after day. Sometimes you don't want an adventure; sometimes you just want a cup of tea. 

An evil corporate hegemony it may be, but a familiar sanctuary when nothing else is, it also is. 

That brief nostalgic thrill made my heart skip. A remembered swell of relief on entering. The smallest and briefest of time machines.