By Yashasvi Kannangara
Coffee to me is what art is to Paris, architecture to Vienna and philosophy to ancient Greece. Okay, maybe that was an overstatement, a little bit of an exaggeration, but I do love my coffee. Just the other day, I was thinking about my friends. I have been in Singapore the last two weeks and was missing them terribly. It was then, that I realized that my memories of many of them included coffee.
I remembered the first time Asi and I hung out was at a coffee place in Kotte and the last time Shabs and I randomly bumped into Anukshi was while having tall, cold glasses of iced coffee and calamari stacks. When Chathushka came down after two years, I served him a pot of hot coffee with huge slices of homemade Black Forest gateaux and the time Marie and I laughed over amazing Irish Cream Mocha Frappes. I thought about the day Udara, Sarasi and I hung out sipping Black Russians for hours. And just before I left, I remember Mevan having coffee at a breakfast buffet recalling the mad fun and questionable decisions he made the night before; (why did he decide to make friends with a weirdo like me? Why?!)
Coffee to me wasn’t just a delicious beverage or an instant mood fixer. It was also a cup of fond memories, shared laughter and growing friendship. At the expense of sounding like a cheesy ad slogan, coffee makes good times happen, at least for me. But, if I were to pick my favourite coffee memory it would be the cup of coffee I had with my mom before I left. I think it’s nostalgia speaking, but I do miss her and keep thinking about the last time we met.
First, let’s establish that my mother is proper; dainty heels, no walking about in ‘house-clothes’ on the road, no tuk-tuk-fying, properly attired with a touch of makeup, you get the drift. So when she stayed over and I told her let’s just hop a tuk-tuk and do brunch at a small coffee house nearby, she wasn’t really thrilled at the prospect (she also made it a point to let me know that ‘hadu’ linen pants and THIS top were all she had and she certainly couldn’t be seen walking around in them in public!). But seeing the disappointment on my face, she agreed, like all mothers do.
And so, against her better judgement and my insistence, we hopped a tuk and headed for brunch. Once there, ammi relaxed and ordered a cappuccino and I ordered a caramel macchiato and some ciabatta, smoked salmon sandwiches and we ‘hung out’. We talked and laughed and complained about various people and I called her crazy when she asked me why I don’t want to nicely have my hair down and she called me unbecoming when I licked my fingers. We also had a long overdue heart to heart and, once again, like all mothers do, she said things that made me feel special and beautiful and loved and told me how proud she was of me and I told her how much I’ll miss her during the very short time I was away.
All these things were said over delicious coffee and wonderfully fresh sandwiches and they completed a perfect little memory in my mind. That, I think, is my favourite coffee stop on a long walk down memory lane. And now, I’m off to take a much-needed coffee break. Let the brewing begin!