Monday, November 22, 2004


...I don't drink a lot of coffee - maybe once or twice a week. Partly because coffee makes me a bit hyper - which is the last thing I need - and partly because I get hyper just choosing where to drink it. I'm a latte woman, and for the infrequency of drinking it it isn't worth getting the stuff to make it at home.

Here in Birdyville the coffee options are, well exactly the same as where you live, I'd imagine. Wherever that is in the world. We have Starbucks - great access, lots of friendly staff, and apparently making efforts to stop screwing up the world - but on the other hand, and this is big, its homogenous and driving all the other little coffee houses out. Costa Coffee I quite like now - even though customer service in the only branch I can get into is diabolical. I used to hate them because fair trade was another 10p - which just seemed ridiculous when the cheapest drink was £2. Just make them all a bit more expensive! So they did. I want to like Cafe Nero - smaller chain, a bit interesting and yummy food. But although I can get in to our branch, the counter height is actually above my head, which combined with the noise makes it impossible. The only independent choice I can get into here is in a church, and run by the church. I thought this was ok, even a Good Thing - even though I'm not a church goer - as I thought that money raised by a local church was a likely to be beneficial to the local community. 'Cept of course, it could be argued that the Christian church is the biggest multinational of all - with a lot of its parts not being a Good Thing.

The Doctor and I went to London to meet my sisters at the weekend - and people were really nice which I never expect in London. People are generally nice in Edinburgh, and often nice here, but I don't have good experiences in London so yesterday was a nice surprise. Even nicer was finding Progreso - a branch of a fair trade coffee shop started or part of Oxfam. Latte's a bit strong, but the organic fair trade caramel shortcake was to die for. I don't really know what the answer is - I used to try to use mainly local produce although I've been convinced - I think - that international trade is needed. It makes me uncomfortable that my latte, which I see as a pure indulgence, is produced from someone's suffering.
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