Conversations over coffee

I’ve had coffee at Johan&Nyström several times already. It’s a wonderful place to relax. The atmosphere is very nice, and the coffee is good. I am meeting my friend Caroline, to catch up on life’s events.

I order my coffee and a sandwich at the bar, and sit down to wait for her. My latte is served in a glass, similar to those in so many places, including Hima Happiness. The first time I had a latte in this type of glass was at Mbar, which has closed in the meanwhile. They updated their interior and dish ware, and switched from tall glasses to these whisky glasses. They took some time to get used to.

It’s quiet at Johan&Nyström. It’s a Sunday morning, 11 o’clock. I enjoy my coffee and sandwich, and wish I brought a book to read. I did that once, a while ago. I just took my book and went there for a coffee. It’s such a nice thing to do. You can really get away from everyday annoyances when you sit down somewhere quiet and read a book. But not today. No book, and a foreign family with 2 primary-school-age kids walks in. They sit down at the table next to me, and I fear the quiet time is over.

IMG_0604I wonder where they are from. I can’t make out the language. Maybe it’s Italian, or Portuguese. To my relief the kids aren’t particularly hyperactive, and apart from the general chatter, they’re quite tolerable. I want to ask them where they’re from, and ask them what they think of Helsinki at this time of the year. But I don’t. Instead I sit back and read a magazine that was lying on another table.

There’s an article on the clothing style of male Manhattanites. It reminds me of my aversion to clothes, and how I can’t help but think life would be so much easier without clothes. Not going out naked, of course, but a standardized set of outfits to wear every day, without having to worry about your appearance or how ‘in-style’ you are.

When my friend arrives, we have a nice chat, and I order a second latte. We talk about her new apartment, which I still haven’t visited. She had to move out of her previous, lovely apartment in Vallila, and moved to the other side of the center: Töölö. We continue to talk about our Christmas holidays, dancing, relationships, friendships, and end up discussing clothes. On our way out, she tells me about the cardigan she’s wearing; how it is exactly what she was looking for at the second hand store. It’s a vintage knitted cardigan, with wooden buttons. It suits her beautifully.

We walk through the snow, towards the center, where we each go our different ways. We should meet up more often, it’s always so nice to spend time with her.