Minor crisis this morning: It was 5 AM and we were almost out of coffee. Since we are still suffering from jet-lag, this is not good at all. First order of business today was to head to the market for some beans.
I took the car. First time I've driven any motor vehicle in two or three years since I don't have a French driver's license and I always take the public transportation. My mother actually checked my Washington State license before giving me the keys - she thought it was expired - and suggested that I do a short trip to remember how to drive in the city.
I made it to the store just fine; Seattle drivers are much less aggressive than Parisians (though some have guns so I wouldn't push it), the streets are wide and the signage is good. I found the coffee, bought some half and half and some Peach Passion Fruit Scones. By the time I made it to the checkout I was falling asleep again and the nice young woman behind the counter asked me if I was alright. I replied that I was a bit jet-lagged and that led to a short conversation about what I was doing in Seattle.
All was going according to the Shopping in Seattle Cultural Script and I was pulling out my credit card to pay when she looked at me and asked, "Do they have credit cards in France?" Why, yes, I replied and I showed her my BNP (National Bank of Paris) Visa card.
I don't want to be hard on such a lovely young lady and there really is no such thing as a stupid question as far as I'm concerned. However, I couldn't help but think that here was a poster child for why Americans really do need to get out of the United States from time to time.
Made it back home without killing any pedestrians and marched at once into the kitchen where I ground some beans and made everyone nice, hot, very strong, cups of coffee.
Seattleites are crazy about coffee. Starbucks was born in this city and on every street there are coffee vendors selling pretty damn good brew. This has been true for many many years. When I was at university in the early 1980's my haunt was a little place called The Last Exit on Brooklyn. The service was slow, the boys were cute and you could order one coffee and then kick back to study or talk with friends for hours and never get kicked out. And, of course, you could smoke. It was a little slice of heaven.