An image of a chocolate-skinned New York girl shaking her curly hair and well-manicured hands while rolling her eyes upwards came into my mind when I saw the name of a cafe on Google Maps.
I’m never a fan of pretentious names like this, but I was short of choice for a place to kill time before my night bus leaves for Shiretoko. Everything else closes too early nowadays, thanks to covid. And I had no urge to walk around the freezing outdoors with my clumsy luggage.

As I was approaching FAbULOUS, a waiter saw me from inside and came up to open the door.

“Are you going to have dinner?”
“Well… I just had dinner… can I have coffee here?”
“That’s OK. Can I take your luggage, please?”
“So they won’t get in the way of other customers.”
“Wait a second. Let me take out my laptop.”

So I sat at the forgotten corner as instructed, switched on my laptop, and immediately…

“I’m sorry you can’t use laptop any more at dinner time.”
“Computer time is finished.”
“Are you OK with that?”
“It’s OK.”
“Yes, It’s OK.”
“OK, so here’s the menu.”

I respect rules because everything is there for a reason, and as long as it’s within my limit of tolerance.

Coffee and apple pie tasted not bad. Nothing so good to remember about either.
Nice vintage furniture, dim lightings, salon jazz too loud – it’s not New York, but they are trying to imitate a stereotypical Paris. Most customers there tried to keep an elegant stance to ‘match’ the atmosphere.
I totally understand why this cafe is rated so high on the internet. But the more I sat there reading about fractal theory on my kindle, the more inharmonious I feel with this pretentious place. So I stood up to bring the bill to the cashier.

“I’m really sorry that you couldn’t use your laptop.”
I’m really sorry for him too – following his boss’s instruction to make himself unlikable.

I would rather spend the rest three hours in the bus terminal’s waiting room. Although it was colder, at least I got my freedom back and could watch <City of Joy> on Netflix with their free wifi.

<City of Joy> is a shocking documentary film about the extremely inhumane ‘raping as a weapon’ situation in Congo, indirectly caused by many countries worldwide, including mine, that are so ravenous about their natural resources. Men are killed, women are raped, killed, tortured in front of their husbands and kids, their vaginas destroyed, they hate their babies, they commit suicides… Kids grow up in this environment don’t understand what respecting women means, nor what respecting life means…

And yet there are people worrying about a solo traveller wearing sports outfits might damage their petit bourgeois image.

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