Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Human Kindness

It was snowing and the streets of London were covered in a thin film of slush. But the household needed some vitals, so off I trudged into the late grey afternoon towards my first stop, Starbucks. While we're not giant fans of the chain, The Man and I both love the Columbian blend, which we buy in bags to make at home. Mission accomplished, I headed back out and onto my next stop, Tesco.

I set down my Starbucks bag for a second to take a closer look at the red wine (our supplies are low after the Christmas period). And when I turned back... the bag was gone. Now, I confess that I am often very absent-minded. I set things down and sometimes spend hours looking for them again. But I was quite sure I'd put the bag right beside my feet. And now that little parcel of coffee bean joy was nowhere to be found.

I ran through the aisles, my heart beating fast, scanning all the shoppers for any sign of my Starbucks bag. But after a futile search, I had to admit that it was over. I was coffee-less once more.

Feeling bereft, I paid for my remaining groceries that hadn't yet been stolen and walked back out into the cold. There are times, like when people steal your coffee, that I really missed my homeland. I could be wearing my rose-coloured glasses, but I was pretty sure that no-one in Nova Scotia would steal my Starbucks coffee. In fact, if memory served me correctly, a few years ago people in the Maritimes were proven to be the most likely to return a lost wallet to its rightful owner -- with nothing missing. Oh to be home again.

I couldn't go home without coffee (the thought of working all day without my shot of caffeine was, quite frankly, terrifying), so I retraced my steps back to Starbucks.

'You must like coffee!' the server said as I handed him my second bag.

I explained my plight as he ground my second batch of beans. He gave it back to me in a bag identical to the one I'd just lost.

'It's on the house,' he said, when I waved my Barclays card in the air.

I smiled as I walked away. Yes, there were days I missed home, but London wasn't so bad after all.


Kim said...

What a great story! Glad it was a happy ending!

Meg said...

I've lost things/had things stolen in public before, never to be seen again, and it is a terrible feeling! Glad the gentleman at Starbucks had such a big heart. :)

Lauren said...

I honestly can't understand why someone would steal someone else's coffee. (Mostly because... would *you* drink out of a stranger's coffee cup?)

Glad to hear the Starbucks guy was so decent about it.

Lauren said...

Okay, so my previous comment makes no sense. Of course it was still in bean form. D'oh.

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm glad your story had a happy ending! I'm the type of coffee addict that would run around the store too, on the off chance that I'd mislaid it or could find the culprit. Darn coffee-baggers!
Speaking of good ol' Canada, they used a similar trick on the Just for Laughs Gags, where they had actors steal items from people's shopping baskets, as though they were shopping from others' baskets instead of from the shelves...

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

Warms my silly heart.
You take care.

Marsha Moore said...

Thanks all! It was so nice to experience a bit of kindness in this big, often rather cold city.

A happy ending, after all.