Stopped by Pret on Victoria Street for a quick lunch before heading to Marble Arch/Oxford Street to run some errands. After I was done with my coffee and croissant, I threw my trash into the bin. The barista on duty was standing by the bin, and he asked if I was on vacation or if I lived in London. I exchanged some pleasantries with him: asked where he was from, he said he was from Rome, I said I was just there a few months ago, I said it was beautiful; then I said, Okay, I'm gonna go. Nice talking to you.
The moment in which the awkward pause was contained was so palpable that I could feel the seconds ticking away. I understood why when he said, Okay, well, if you ever come by - tomorrow afternoon - I can give you a cup of coffee.
It kind of reminded me of another barista at Pret Kingsway. I would go there a few times a week to get my caffeine fix and this guy started giving me free coffee after a while. Not to mention another barista at the Pret just next to Holborn tube station - started giving me free coffee, tried to ask me out but was thwarted by customers, made it clear that he found me attractive.
I knew that there was a perfectly good reason why Pret a Manger is my favourite generic coffee chain-type cafe in London - apart, that is, from the fact that the coffee is miles better than Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero (probably the worst of the lot). Friendly male baristas who offer me free coffee don't hurt either.
My parents are coming! We are going to Paris on Monday! I'm so excited!
I've decided to go home for Chinese New Year because I'm sick of the job hunt, I miss Singapore food so much, I want to play tennis in the humidity, and I have to make up for last year's wet and cold fiasco in Trafalgar Square. I can't wait.