Starbucks contemplations

I stopped at my local Starbucks this afternoon for a hot chocolate and some ambiance to have a little reading time on my latest book. I had to return a textbook I had purchased at a bookstore in Nagoya station – it was a Korean translation of the Japanese. Not a lot of use for me. The weather today was clear and brisk, but not really cold. I thought I needed the 25 minute walk to the station just to clear my head, stretch my legs, and psych myself up for all the things I need to accomplish tonight. Part of my reward was stopping at the Starbucks and relaxing for a bit.

I’m not a big fan of Starbucks, but they aren’t so horrible. This one is especially big and comfortable with lots of windows, a large table for books and computers, and really feels like a neighborhood coffee shop. I was looking forward to sitting in one of the easy chairs by the window and enjoying my hot chocolate, my book, and watching the world pass by. Unfortunately, when I got there, there was only one table in the middle of the room available. Every premium spot was taken.

I felt like I was back in college at the library, and all my usual study spots were taken. It was very interesting looking around, there were high school age kids doing homework, adults working on their computers, adults reading texts or doing exercises. It felt like a coffee shop in a college town. I had chosen to go to get a bit of a change of scenery and also just be around other people instead of alone in my apartment. Looking around, I would guess that maybe the Starbucks was a place where some of these people could actually get away and get some space to focus on what they wanted to do. For the kids doing homework, maybe it was easier to do it and focus at Starbucks rather than at home. Maybe even it was the same for the adults.

I started thinking about the time I’ve had here so far, and I’m disappointed that I have not been more disciplined in my free time. I start my first Japanese class on Tuesday. That’s 10 months after I got here. I should be ashamed of myself. True, work has been incredibly intense, but I’ve wasted a lot of time as well. If I just added a little structure, discipline, and dedication maybe I could have started a lot sooner. So wish me luck as I try for that dedication. My apartment is sort of a mess right now, I have work that stacked up over the week that I need to get done (expense reports, tax preparation, as well as the usual work expectations in spite of 4 hours of email cleanup this weekend), and I have a stack of mail to deal with, and I would really love to change the style of this blog. Sigh. Well, here’s to getting my act together this week. Shoot, I even am disappointed that I don’t have a picture of the Starbucks to add to the blog.