Starbucks Tastes Like Home

Before I left I joked “c’mon, I’m just moving to Bay View!” Moving my life 5,000 miles away felt like no big deal. Now, two months later,  with facebook, skype, and email, it actually does feel like I’ve done nothing but become a Southsider. Thanks to technology, I’ve gotten all adjusted in my new life and still feel pretty darn close to home.

The other day, however, I must have subconsciously been missing home. I think it was seeing everyone’s Halloween fun combined with the food cravings that have been plaguing me recently. Halloween is the first “holiday” that made me realize I’m not going to be home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, or St. Patty’s.

And, to add to it, unlike the ease of (temporarily) quenching the desire to connect with somebody, satisfying a food craving is near impossible. When I miss a person I simply log on to the internet and a) video chat them, b) facebook stalk them, or c) email them. Yep, cat’s outta the bag… I visit your timelines frequently :) But, when all I want is hummus from the Milwaukee Public Market… well, all I can do is try my hardest to not eat a bunch of food in a false attempt at ridding my thought of the delicious combination of jalapeño pretzel crisps and Aladdin traditional hummus.

Anyways, I was in the ritzy part of town leaving my client’s office the other day, moseying along the 50 minute walk to downtown where I live. In the far distance I noticed… Starbucks. Now, normally, that wouldn’t even register with me. There are quite a few of them in the richer areas of Santiago and I’ve seen one or two downtown, too. At home most of you  know my philosophy – why would I ever choose Starbucks when right down the road is guaranteed to be an amazing locally owned cafe like Birdies, Rochambo, Bella, or even the bigger ones like Stone Creek and Alterra.

This day, however, it registered. I saw it, didn’t think about it, kept walking, and just naturally walked right in without really even processing that I wanted to. The first thing that caught my attention was the second I stepped inside – I was smiling. And I didn’t know why, I just all of a sudden realized that I was. Then, it hit me. It felt like home. It smelt like home. The colors were familiar. The sounds were “normal” – our kind of coffee shop music, barista machine going, and quiet chatter. I had a sweet tooth (naturally that’s the end result of not being able to fulfill any of my appetites), so I ordered a mocha. Nonfat but please don’t forget the whip :) haha. Not only did it taste EXACTLY like what I had in mind, but it was “normal” sized – I say that because when you go out for coffee here they don’t do enormous sizes like we do – they are small, 6oz-8oz cups. And, when that mocha tasted so good, I couldn’t have been happier with the full 16oz :)

I had my computer on me, which is super rare as I don’t carry it many places, so I spent a couple hours sipping my normal sized mocha and soaking in the taste, sound, view, and feeling of home.

It. Was. Awesome.

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