We are semi-moved into our flat now, but will be without Internet for at least a week. So yesterday I went to Starbucks to take advantage of their wi-fi. I was sitting at the counter by the window and some British boarding school kids came and sat next to me. They were being very loud and obnoxious and I couldn’t help eavesdropping because they were right there. One of them was going on about how he wanted to get a tattoo of a smiley face on his “arse” but didn’t because it was “40 quid, which is too bloody expensive.” (Nice that it was the price, not the location or design that stopped him). After they left an American guy sat down at the counter and started making phone calls. When he finished he apologized to me for being loud. I said it was nothing compared to the boarding school kids. I think he was an actor because he mentioned phrases like “Here filming” and “Back in New York” during his phone conversation. He also appeared to be reading a script and was wearing sunglasses indoors. I wondered if he was someone famous, but didn’t recognize him when he talked to me.
Today Starbucks was too crowded so I headed to the library. It’s incredibly tiny compared to Chicago’s Harold Washington, but it has free wi-fi and I don’t feel the need to buy an overpriced drink. I’m sitting at a table across from the public computers. I haven’t quite figured out if they are first-come first-serve or if you have to reserve them. Whatever the case, all of them are always occupied. I could tell one lady was hawking them, hovering by the door, walking around and coming back. An older lady got up but left her things. The circling lady grabbed the computer. The old lady who was using it first returned and the drama ensued. “I wasn’t finished, it stopped working so I went to get someone,” she said. “Well, you got up and it logged out,” the other lady defended. Everyone turned to look at the women. “Well, can I at least grab my things?” the first lady asked, wanting to avoid a scene. The women barely moved as the lady grabbed her wet umbrella and folder which had been shoved on the floor. A third women arrived and took the side of the first lady. Another computer opened up and the first lady took it, sitting next to the newcomer third lady. The two of them started to talk about it again, right in front of the computer-stealing lady. “I can’t believe that,” one of them said. “She didn’t have to throw your things aside.” That’s when the computer-stealer chimed in, “What, your silly umbrella?!” She shot back. “It’s not silly, it was wet and you put it on top of my other things.” Then they started fighting about how the other one should be quiet because they are in a library. I think it was at this point that I started laughing. Compared to the boisterous boarding school kids the fighting ladies were nothing. Eventually things simmered down, but every once in awhile the two ladies would make faces behind the computer-stealer’s back.
A group of young girls just walked in and are talking incredibly loudly about shoe size and what books they’ve read. If only those ladies were still around, these girls could use a good scolding about library voices.