Grab my favorite journaling notebook, smoothest pen, find an independent café and drink delicious coffee while I write. What's so challenging about that?
My dear friend, mentor, most enthusiastic cheerleader and once writing coach invited me to join her #100cafechallenge, an invitation that I most merrily accepted. As well as rebounding from last year's worldwide quarantine, Jo Parfitt was feeling down after having repatriated to her native England. A few "bonks on the head" in the form of synchronicities, one of which was the launch of my "Journal with Me"event, had her contemplating ways to rekindle her journaling habit. Voilà, her challenge.
Last week I had some free time so I drove to The Hague, my favorite city in the Netherlands, and went hunting for an independent café I'd never been in before. I used this as an excuse to do some rekindling of my own. Years ago I bought Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest the Law of Attraction, which includes many life-transforming written exercises that you can do to lift your spirits at any given moment. I wanted to get back into the practice of journaling about the positive aspects of the present moment.
My journaling went like this:
September 28, 2021
Crunch Café in The Hague
Gotta get this out. The road getting here this morning has been a bit bump and full of unexpected obstacles, construction and closed doors.
Café Crunch is cute. It’s decorated with wooden tables and matching chairs. This place would have been fantastic when my kids were small, as there’s a tiny play corner with sweet purple kiddie chairs and a few toys. Though in this time of post-quarantine pandemic I may not have wanted my kids to play. But then again, seeing how relaxed hubby and I have been, I probably would have let them.
It’s very quiet here. Not too many people on this Tuesday morning around 11:00am. I like that. I also like the playlist. It’s really the perfect backdrop for journaling. It is a bit chilly though. Like most restaurants in the Netherlands, the only door is wide open and it’s only 14 degrees C. They stay open even in the winter! Good thing I brought a scarf, but then again the temp. is exactly what I expected.
I ordered the vegan lemon-raspberry cake.
Pozzies: the taste of lemon is pretty strong. I like that in a good lemon cake. It’s also pretty to look at (I hope my picture does it justice, though I’m not holding my breath on that one). It’s also a fairly big slice from what I’m used to getting in the low lands.
Negs: the texture. It’s also very dense and heavy. Gets a bit soggy in my mouth. Besides the lemon, there’s not a lot of taste. When I indulge in cake, I like it to be fluffy enough that it melts in my mouth. I like to feel every bite settling on my hips! Guess now I know why I’ll never go vegan!
I like the artwork on the wall of the black woman in a mundane setting: setting out to do her daily shopping. It’s especially poignant as I listen to Nina Simone belting out “POWER” on the café’s playlist.
I like the coffee, which is unusual because I’m very picky when it comes to coffee, so much so that I typically only drink it at home and only when I’ve brewed it myself. In fact, I’m headed for my second cup right now. MMMMM
I like that they use my most favoritest oat milk, the Swedish brand Oatly Barrista. It’s even better than milk and handy as I don’t use too much dairy anymore. A bit of intolerance there. This past summer you couldn’t find it anywhere because they couldn’t keep up with the demand. Imagine creating a product that exceeded so many people’s expectations. That’s a good dream to have. I like that, so far, the clientele is young – probably early 20’s. The short order cook and the barrista included.
One girl just packed up her MacBook. Another is ensconced in her morning What’s App routine or whatever her fingers are flying over her phone doing. Cute young man just walked in, apparently running into (not physically) the young brunette girl who walked in just 2 minutes before him. They exchanged a few words in English before she picked up her to-go bag and scurried out. As he turned to go I noticed the oversized box-like pack that bike delivery people carry. Now it’s just me and What’s App girl, her finger now running over the keys of her Mac.
In the meantime, my husband called to inform me of the What’s App he just received from our 14-year-old daughter’s school that she wasn’t at school. No duh…she’s home sick…of the non-Covid variety virus.
OOH. One of my contemporaries just walked in, grabbed a paper, grunted out his coffee order, and went back out to sit on the terrace.
I'm glad to take on this challenge to find a new café once a month, journaling whatever comes to mind. Chronicling what I see and hear. What I taste, wondering whether or not to post this entry on my website. Yeah, I think I will.