Some Things Are Always Constant

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I’m fortunate to work online but not quite fortunate to be able to connect to the internet from anywhere in the world through an antenna sewn into my ear. That means that on my travels, as much as I love to frequent local and interesting coffee houses, I often find myself inside the walls of a reassuringly familiar Starbucks.

On this particular day I was sitting at a small, round chequered coffee table in a New York Starbucks (there’s one on every block). It was the kind of table that looks like it could be home for a weathered chess set but has never been able to fulfil it’s destiny. Instead of being the separator between two great minds pitted in non-violent battle, it lives it’s life being the supporter of over-priced, coffee-sugar creations.

At this point in time the chequered unfulfilled table had the pleasure of supporting my dust filled over-travelled laptop. I was working away online.

I looked up and spotted a balding man intently reading over a tabloid newspaper.

New York City is the kind of place where a man can get almost any publication he wants. This man was obviously intent on reading lies from the British press and was fixated on his copy of the Sun Newspaper. The Sun is famed for having a semi-naked woman on it’s third page and having a reading age of 9.

I wondered why and how this man had this British newspaper in this New York coffee house. Why would he bother? Was there a British newspaper store nearby? Was it today’s paper?

Then I realised. I was in Liverpool.

Some things are always constant and Starbucks is one of them!

I'm a Digital Nomad. I can't get enough of experiencing new places and keeping my lifestyle minimal to ensure I can easily move to my next abode. Maybe one day i'll settle but right now I can't see that happening!


  1. Jim Wang

    August 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

    While many things are constant, some do change, it’s always fun to see what local flavor these big megacorporations add. It happens more in restaurant chains, like KFC and McDonalds, and you can get some pretty interesting stuff. That said, just by the look of things, it’s hard to remember where you are!

    • Forest Parks

      August 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

      You are totally right about the menu differences! In USA I ask for iced filter coffee and you guessed it, I get ice in a cup with filter coffee poured on top! Exactly what I want. Ask that in UK and a frenzy starts often resulting in the manager having to be instructed how to pour coffee over ice!

      In Egypt KFC used to do falafel for 15 times the price of the street vendors and I found out that Pizza Hut salad bar was not all you can eat when a confused looking group of waiters confronted me on my third trip up!

      I like how you can get beer in some European McDs too! Although I have not eaten at a McDs in over 10 years!

  2. Tony O.

    August 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I have another one to add… Pizza Huts and to a lesser extent KFCs aren’t really considered “fast food” in China, but rather are actually marketed as nicer sit-down restaurants to the middle class. Oh, and the service is usually much much better :)

    • Forest Parks

      August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      I’d actually say Pizza Hut tends to be a little more sit down rather than fast food in the UK too. I have never actually been to one in the USA.

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