An Ode to Coffee

May 13, 2017

The first thing I think about when I arrive at any airport is coffee. My last minute, all night packing is the usual culprit for why my addiction pushes all matters aside the minute I walk through the sliding doors.

Once I allow myself to feel this overwhelming sense of caffeine deprivation I get in line to check my bags and continue onwards to security. I must make sure I cross through all checkpoints necessary to reach my final destination – a café.

There are times when the security line is so long. This is my biggest nightmare – mostly because it results in taking even longer to receive my $7-$10 cup of sweet salvation.

My sensitivity to people, sounds, and places is heightened before my fist sip. My tolerance for rudeness or any form of incompetence from the airline employees is very low, as a result. Over the years, my developed maturity and experience has helped me to hide or manage outward expressions of short-temperedness and impatience before my fix. Sometimes, when I am in the mood, I imagine myself as someone who is nice and decide to put on a convincing performance so that my check-in experience goes as smoothly as possible.

There are times when the security line is so long. This is my biggest nightmare – mostly because it results in taking even longer to receive my $7-$10 cup of sweet salvation.

Here are some of my behavior patterns that have evolved overtime to ward off my pre-caffeine jitters.

  1. Making sure I have lots of chewing gum on hand – preferably Trident and spearmint flavored.
  2. Allow myself to take 2-3 sticks of gum and more if necessary while waiting – I spare no expense.
  3. Turn to Facebook or Instagram during extreme intervals of unrelenting boredom, which tend to feel even longer without caffeine in my blood.
  4. Allow my eyes to wander – shamelessly.

As a natural observer of all things that first either seem quite normal or odd, I make quick studies of the people standing behind and in front of me. At first glance, I can usually determine who is the more experienced traveler next to the more naïve, anxious flyer; the business vagabond next to the vacationer; the soloist next to the cohort of friends and family either retuning home or venturing abroad. These judgments are a temporary distraction from the one thing I cannot carry and have with me while I stand on line.

My eyes are my most significant and necessary tool and resource. They help me navigate through the old and familiar, as well as the new and peculiar. They help me notice and detect nuances – a fidget, a glance, signs, and directions. They help me glean through my surroundings in order to gather enough information to make accurate assessments and decisions – especially when I find myself in uncharted territory.

Most importantly, however, they help me find the nearest coffee shop.

La Maison
La Maison; Photo credit: Nechama Winston


An Ode to Coffee top photo credit:

About Nechama Winson

Nechama is a photographer and assistant curator who has a background in art history and behavioral neuroscience. As an avid people watcher and observer she loves to get lost in the traffic of commuters on city streets, in narrow alleyways, and while riding on trains and buses. She aims to deepen her exploration and understanding of how people communicate and express themselves through the body in the odd and various places and situations she finds herself. Through photography, she likes to highlight the thousands of details and factors that make us unique and different from each other in order to hopefully one day find or realize the one universal thread she believes mysteriously connects us all. This fall 2015, she will begin the ICP-Bard MFA program in advanced photographic studies at the International Center of Photography.

One thought on “An Ode to Coffee

  1. Amelia
    August 13, 2015

    I love this. I know exactly what you mean – coffee is a heavenly elixir.
    Although I have to say, $7 – $10 is expensive for coffee. Australian coffee is half that price!

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