I didn't actually fancy cake today. I fancied soup. But cake seemed to make it into my daily calorie allowance. As it does every day.
The terrible thing is, I did not even want to go to a coffee shop but when the rain started spitting those frustrating little drops on my nose on my way to the library the feet in my shoes just walked me into this coffee shop. An American coffee shop, above all.
There's something even more crazy about my story. I didn't even want a mocca but I ordered one anyway. How weird is that?
Let me tell you, not as weird as the fact that I ordered a slice of chocolate and praline loaf cake that I didn't want. Honestly, I really didn't. Speech verbosity took the best of me when the kind lady at the till asked me if I would like anything else. I said yes, but the answer was actually no.
Call me ridiculous before I do so myself.
So, there I am, with my wooden plateau which is balancing the american coffee cup and the slice of cake along with a bag that weighs me down with books, cameras and all other kinds of paperwork and notepads that I couldn't use now because now I had a mocca to drink and a piece of cake to eat.
I looked around the coffee shop which had only three tables and asked a girl if she didn't mind if I joined her at her two person table.
I think she regretted the initial yes, as I frantically took out all my paperwork and started annoyingly turning on my camera and focussing the lens on the the whipped cream of the unwanted mocca, the ground nuts on the cake and my fountain pen.
I took a "I'm-in-a-cafè-with-a-pen-and-a-cake" picture. I swear to God, I did.
Unfortunately, there was no space for all my equipment at this table and all of a sudden I thought "Abi, you're CRAZY, put it away, you look like a lunatic."
The girl looked like she'd be off before I made her feel the comfort she felt before I had initially sat down so I smiled at her, a are-you-up-for-a-chat-or-do-you-totally-want-me-to-leave-you-alone kind of smile.
Turns out she was up for a chat so we made friends.
It's amazing how much you learn if you just take the time to talk to someone in a coffee shop over unwanted mocca and cake. A mathematician and International Affairs student; this bright 21 year old had already done a Masters in the US and was serenely getting on with her life, eating carrot cakes occasionally in American coffee shops with frantic strangers. We talked about the French education system and about cake (that magical food that miraculously makes it's way into not only every single conversation I encounter but also every single meal and snack I have.)
Turns out I made a friend, anyway.