Thursday, 27 October 2016


Starbucks - its not just about the coffee.

This is my first time at Starbucks in Hania. Apart from Starbucks, the only other international branded food outlet we have is Dominos pizza. Perhaps this is the reason why I never tried Starbucks before: because I am a snob. I'm into my small and local and I shy away from the large and international. Besides, I've heard and read all the bad stories about Starbucks on the news and social media: they serve standard coffee, it is expensive, the company doesnt pay taxes, etc. I decided to try it out for myself today.

Starbucks Hania

I choose the cappuccino. Safe choice. That caramel brownie also looks tempting. And so does the last outdoor free table. I sit al fresco under a dull grey sky that looks like it's going to rain (the weather forecast was only joking - we haven't seen real rain since March), and a stagnant humid feeling - summer may be over, but the warm weather is still with us. 

Starbucks cappuccino and caramel brownie  

The Venetian port is crawling with young Americans. LA long vowels, NY nasals, Southern drawls. Baseball caps and capri shorts, crew cuts and shaved faces, very white faces and very black faces. Both males and females. And for the males, icky-looking socks pulled up to the mid-shin height, with trainers. It was kind of difficult to find any news on the web about what these Americans were doing here. The USS WASP LHD-1 ( is in town ( no less than nine days, taking a break from its 'six-month tour of the Middle East' (as Wikipedia claims), purely for the pleasure of the crew, and presumably on the President's orders. Hania is nice for breaks. That's probably why the rain is holding out - to make the 1000+ crew members' holiday as pleasurable as possible. 

"We promise the perfect drink. If your drink is not like you want it, we'll make it again."

I'm about to take a sip of my coffee when I overhear the American man sitting behind me all alone talking to what sounds like his family: 
"How are you all?... I can't wait to come home... I know, I know, I miss you too, honey... Love you..."
It sounded just like an American movie. But it wasn't a movie, it was being played out right behind me. My heart broke at that point. he hadn't seen his family since... June, if I'm correct. 

Still no rain: apparently, priests in the Orthodox Church of Greece have begun chanting incantations. 

If only the President - both present and future - could hear that man. I wish him a safe journey home to his loved ones, and hopefully soon.
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