— Dealing with feelings


Leitungswasser, aka tap water, in a Berlin cafe

Yesterday I stepped into Passenger Espresso and ordered a cappuccino. I love their coffee but I hardly ever visit. It's only ten minutes from my home.

I made my first visit five years ago. I was nearby at a friend's apartment borrowing a camera. On my way out, I was chatting with my friend's roommate about coffee places and she recommended her favorite, Passenger Espresso.

I stepped into the cafe right after to try it out. A few sprinkles of rain had fallen so I settled into the corner of the cafe. Pulling out my friend's camera, I tried different settings and tested by taking a few shots.

I remember the glare I got upon the third shutter click. The barista/owner was not happy. The shade thrown on me was so cold-- I put the camera away.

When I stepped into the cafe yesterday, the same barista/owner was at the counter. It seemed like he was ultra reluctant to serve me. If there was any reluctance, it was probably because I was the first customer on a Sunday morning. There's no way he remembered.

Sometimes I let myself 'misinterpret' the situation. The more I imagined the loathing, the more I realized how much I needed to be liked.

I felt the place didn't deserve my 'like'. But why do I need to feel liked in order to like something back?


There are a few standard things you'll find across most Berlin cafes: fresh flowers, glass tumblers, pitchers of tap water and rustic wooden surfaces.

Why does the presence or lack of loathing have anything to do with what I choose to enjoy?

The place doesn't have a clue as to who I am. They couldn't have any opinion. Regardless, I purchased a bag of beans so I didn't have to return.

I explored these questions further. Why has being liked been a factor? Of course I feel unwelcome and undesired, but that shouldn't stop me from liking.

There were many instances when I liked something/someone/someplace and in return I was treated less kindly. I tried out for the basketball team in high school so many times and never made it. The rejection didn't take away from the enjoyment of playing but it did hurt.

I remember liking people who clearly didn't like me back. That never stopped me. And that too also hurt.

'Liking' involves opening to a spectrum of inadequate feelings. I am vulnerable when I like. When I recognize the impressiveness of someone, someplace or something, I relinquish power, which, I knowingly acknowledge, could be wielded upon me.



Sourdough Biscuits

A breakfast that rests overnight


Facade Watching

The only time of year

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