Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Portrait #2: Barista at my favourite coffee shop

(already on the second day I have failed with my intentions to do daily portraits. Good thing I believe in grace!)

Yesterday, I went back to my favourite coffee shop after a month and a half of travels. What I love so much about this cafe is that it feels like I'm actually in the owner's living room, and random conversations are almost inevitable while there. Sometimes I chat with strangers, and more often I listen to other people - just like if we were all sitting around in a living room. The barista recognised me immediately, mainly as the friend of the girl who asked her lots of questions and left her great tips (she misses you, Laura!), so as she made my delicious iced vanilla coffee, we got to chatting.

I asked her if I remembered correctly that she was moving away soon, and she said that yes, in fact, this coming Sunday will be her last day. She's moving to... Honolulu! Her girlfriend is a nurse and has contracts of no more than six months. Hospitals apparently like to hire these kinds of nurses because, even while paying a higher salary, they save on benefits and other legal technicalities. So nurses like the barista's girlfriend go from one hospital to another, anywhere in the country, every six months. And so it is that on Sunday my favourite barista will quit her coffee shop job, go visit with her family in another state for a week, come back to pack, and then move to Hawaii! I asked her if she was worried about the isolation of living on a small island, and she said that she was a little concerned, but actually a very close friend of hers lives nearby so it will be nice to be near that friend. Also, she has been told that this particular Hawaiian island is a bit less isolated than some of the others. I wish her the best on this new adventure!

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