Sunday, December 25, 2016

When Starbucks Is Not Only for Coffee


As I have mentioned before, one advantage of my extreme poverty is that it allows me to see other parts of my community that I would not otherwise see.

So recently when I did my little 9 day experiment without electric power, and therefore without an internet connection except through my smartphone, I researched where it was I could charge my various batteries and get high speed internet. To my surprise the local library is really well set up to accomodate people who need to charge their devices and provides free WIFI, although admittedly its bandwidth seemed limited on occassion, that was probably because so many people were trying to use it at once. Very quickly you start to recognize the people who are in a similar situation to yourself, people who are so poor that they need to charge their electric appliances somewhere and maybe use the Internet.

But the library closes by 6 PM most evenings and is not open on Sunday, so that is when the famous Starbucks option comes into play. Starbucks is open from about 4 AM to 10 PM or later every day of the week.

I went there three times, bought about $5.00 worth of stuff (ice tea and a great cheesecake thing) and charged three devices and used their WIFI. It was a great experience each time.

There were two other groups that I noticed as well. First, at least in my community, Starbucks has become the go to place for High School students to go study with their friends. They buy coffee or tea and work on their homework together.

The other group was represented by two individuals, myself and a black man of roughly my age. He was also there to charge his smartphone and I noticed him on two different occasions. On one of those occasions he also fell asleep in his seat and one of the staff woke him up, explaining that he could not sleep there. Which seems reasonable to me.

If I end up going truly homeless but have enough money to buy some tea or coffee, then no doubt you will see me at Starbucks as well.

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