I’m not sure why it came to mind, but while waiting for my family to place their orders in CBTL in Robinsons Magnolia, I was sitting in the corner and looking around, pretty much the same time I realized it was a good hangout place. I guess it was because of the calm ambience of the café and the size of the place itself. It was huge from the inside and still had the equal amount of chairs outside. Trust me when I say that both areas get packed before the sun goes down. Actually, try to go there at 2 PM on a Sunday and I’m willing to bet there’s a slim chance you’ll see a spot of your liking. You’d most likely end up at the first table you see, which would probably be the last, too.
So I told myself that I will go back there and find a comfortable spot. Months later and I grew the habit of going there for work when I find my thoughts drifting when I’m home. It’s an expensive habit if you ask me, but it’s always worth a shot. I’ve seen interesting people around and here are a few of them:
- The law students. They are everywhere. And I think people couldn’t agree with me more that they loiter around every coffee shop available in the city. They’re the kind of people who arrive first and leave last. It’s pretty easy to identify the law students. They often keep their heads down and seldom make eye contact with other cafe-goers. Take note of these things you’d often see on their tables the next time you suspect a law student hanging out in a nearby coffee shop, a.k.a. the law student starter pack: every color of highlighter imaginable, photocopies of handouts, book stand, thick textbooks, cigarettes (optional), and largest mug drink available. These peeps often leave their tables every hour or so to take cigarette breaks or simply to rest their brains.
- The cool thunders. I’ve seen a few of them. Tablet in one hand, hot coffee in the other. From my experience, I’ve even seen one grandpa with ear piercings and he was just sitting there all chill. They often grab their cup of joe, fiddle with their gadgets for a bit, and leave. I’ve also chanced upon two amiga-lola’s chit-chatting. It seemed like they had a serious gossip exchange going on then.
- The brains/ The focused. Ahh, these people are simply amazing. They can work eight hours straight without batting an eyelash. One time, I’ve one sat across a woman who was intent on her task, and not once did I see her get up from her seat, not even to take a potty break. This went on for hours until an acquaintance arrived and it was already about 5 in the afternoon. I have been there since 12 PM.
- Other students. They usually arrive in packs post-classes. They spend some more time after school, studying in the coffee shop or using up their vacant day to review for upcoming exams. They are okay with a thick textbook and a few notes, unlike the law students who hoard a table good for a few people and dump all their things on it. Another option as a learning material for these other students is a laptop.
- The free. These people have all the time in the world to chit-chat away. They may not have other responsibilities or have just got done with them. They usually come in pairs, order cups of coffee and plates of cake and pass time in the cafe for a few good hours. They don’t necessarily fiddle with their phones – they just talk, like how we used to years ago when no one really cared much about social media.
- The boomers. They are the loud people, you know them pretty well. They all laugh boisterously and talk so loud like they own the place. They usually frequent at the long table near the door, which is good, so they can have quick access to the exit point once they’re done yapping at each other’s ears. They usually do not go less than four members.
- The outlet hoarders. These peeps make a beeline towards the table nearest the outlets. They know very well where to sit when they got a workload to do and gadgets to charge. Some put their A game on and bring extensions, but this is mostly done by colleagues coming in groups who have individual laptops. I wish I had thought of it sooner so I would stop being selfish with the outlet, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
I may go to my nearby coffee shop alone, but I encounter some interesting people pretty much whenever I’m there. I like people-watching just to observe their quirks and their way with things.
What about you? Have you seen other groups of café-goers other than the ones I’ve mentioned? How did they behave?
Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.