It is rather unbelievable that it has been a year since I came to Cambridge. In fact, I have written three papers in the span of the year: two first year papers (two!!! ugh) and one conference paper. Alas, I think none of them will see the light of day...
Anyway, the session lasted for a couple of hours and at 3, I went to Fitzbillies to have coffee and read my novel (still Brideshead Revisited). There was a queue, unsurprisingly, seeing as it's a Saturday. I stood at the back of the queue, busying myself with my book, and then out of nowhere, I heard the cute barista say 'flat white' as he put a cup of coffee in front of me. I was so surprised, and was about to go up and pay when he said, 'It's okay.'
I FELT SO SPECIAL. There were so many people in front of me and he just came round to the back of the queue and did that! This guy is so nice. I was also actually owed a free coffee; he wanted to give me one for free sometime last week, but I took exact change with me as I didn't want to carry my wallet and I didn't want to take the coins back with me (the sooner I stop touching money, the better for my sanity because it's smelly), so I said, 'But I have exact change! Give me coffee next time!' So the fact that the coffee was on the house wasn't as special as the fact that he let me cut the queue!
A few days ago, he commented that he hadn't seen me around lately, and indeed, I hadn't been round for a few days as I went to the law faculty to finalise my paper. It's so nice to be remembered, isn't it? We made some small talk about his friend's cafe in London and his coffee art skills. He made a nice heart, and I asked if he could do anything fancier like a swan. He said it was harder to do a complicated one in a take away cup, and then added, 'I'll do a fancy one for you the next time you sit in.'
I was going to ask him for a fancy one today but he assumed I was taking away my coffee again so the coffee came in a take away cup. I'll ask for a nice one next time!
So yeah, my getting special treatment pleased me greatly. I have to go to the drinks reception in a bit, so I will end this with an amazing passage I read in Brideshead Revisited that touched me so much that I was almost in tears and which made me want to kiss the words on the page:
Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.
The beauty of the written word is simply incomparable.