He’s sat at the next table opposite me, solitary and serene whilst absorbing the surroundings. His skin is the colour of dark chocolate and his head is adorned with a crown of thick dreadlocks. However, it’s the fact that his eyes are hidden behind large sunglasses which indicates the uncommon; coupled with his dark attire and the hint of a knowing smile playing about his lips,he looks like the kind of undercover spy you would find in an action film. His demeanor only reinforce this impression – he has finished his mug of coffee, yet rather than leave, he appears to be waiting for something or someone: his next mission, perhaps?
Sat at one of the tables for two beside the window are two girls around my own age. Unlike myself though, they’re both in full make-up and look as if they’ve just been to a beauty salon, having got every treatment on offer. The girl whose profile faces me has gleaming auburn hair, styled in perfect waves flowing over her shoulders. She’s gesticulating irritatedly to her companion as she talks over a Starbucks mug. What could have got her so peeved? Is she ranting about the price of a coffee nowadays? On second thoughts, the designer clothes she’s wearing indicate that money isn’t her chief concern. All right then, maybe it’s the opposite sex. She’ll be all sweetness and light to his face because she likes being up on a pedestal, but the moment his back’s turned, she’s moaning straightaway about what a hopeless case he is.
Finally, there is the waitress alerting customers to when their hot beverages and toasted paninis are ready. She’s obviously not from Britain, with her Scandinavian looks and foreign accent. She could teach some of the British customers a thing or two about manners nonetheless; a family of three give her a hefty slap on the wrist when she accidentally brings over the wrong drink. Rather than graciously accepting her apology served with a smile, the woman sighs in disgust and the three of them leave. The waitress doesn’t show any symptom of being hurt by this – instead, she shrugs and carries on smiling. She’s probably here to forge a new life for herself as well. I wonder what her life was like before: maybe she had a tough start and couldn’t earn a decent living back at home, and that’s why she’s undeterred by a few rude customers.

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