The Well Travelled Cup
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM
By Glen McLean
The Well Travelled Cup!
Having arrived on an overnight flight from Canada to the Czech Republic (PRG), we transferred to our hotel in the heart of Prague Old Town. Close to the Town Square, Old Jewish Quarter, and the Charles Bridge, the coffee adventure was to begin.
In the first few hours, we determined many international espresso traditions were alive and well in this old, very vibrant city. From the Charles Bridge to the Castle overlooking the Vltava River, countless numbers of cafes and coffee houses lined the narrow cobblestone streets.
What could we learn? A lot to learn in such a very short stay.
Lesson Number One: a cappuccino should be savoured. At Wenceslas Square a small, interesting, local cafe beckoned. We ordered the traditional cappuccino. It arrived with perfect foam and a packet of brown granular sugar in a small white cup and saucer. It was interesting sipping the coffee while watching the locals and tourists experience their daily routines and new adventures. A stage suddenly became the focus. A number of musicians with instruments in tow, took their places. A conductor moved to the centre of attention and a concert began in earnest. Luckily for us, “Hollywood Night” at the Prague Proms ensued: two hours of some of the best movie music by Ennio Moricone, John Powell, & John Williams topped by a rousing orchestration of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” main theme. All enjoyed over a simple cappuccino. Never rush that cup of coffee. You never know what can happen.
Lesson Number Two: always expect the unexpected. Travel never goes as planned. Travel never should go as planned. There will always be something that changes/confuses the best itinerary and plans. Just go with it! Enough said....fortunately, there's always a coffee take-away close by to help embellish the stories you hope to take home to your family, friends, and colleagues.
Lesson Number Three: listen and learn. A coffee bean can open a door to education. Having completed a really great pizza at a local restaurant, we trekked into some of the seedy unsettling areas of Prague. Every cosmopolitain city has a questionable urban district. Construction cranes moved slabs of concrete. Workmen fastened windows on a new office facade. Street people begged for spare change. We peered into a small 750sq foot retail location and discovered a brand new espresso bar under construction. Camille, the owner, was supervising the hanging of light fixtures, the positioning of equipment, and completing the last minute million things to do. We asked about his shop and he was excited to confide his hopes and dreams. This was shop number two. The conversation reminded me of our early days: the hopes, the dreams, the expectations. He was going to be successful! I am sure he will because of the passion and strength of his convictions. I was reminded as I listened, never give up and move forward. Adversity makes you stronger and of course, the daily grind builds character.
It is truly fascinating, what you can experience and learn over a cup of coffee, or cappuccino, or espresso, or mocha or latte, or frappe..........
131 Comments | Author: Glen McLean