synonyms for starbucks

I WRITE IN COFFEE SHOPS A LOT.


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Okay, so, sometimes you try something new, and then you know.

A while back on a forum (I think on NaNoWriMo.com?) we were discussing places to write around here and someone suggested the Ikea cafeteria. I sort of filed away the idea, intending to check it out sometime. I live right by there, and had heard that the food and especially the coffee were super cheap, but didn’t imagine that they’d want me to camp out with a laptop, taking a table intended for shoppers.
Today, though, I had some outlining to do with pen and paper, and decided to try it–I figured a spiral notebook would be less objectionable. 
Of course, the first thing I did after entering was get lost. Partly because Ikea’s are set up to make sure you see every inch of the place and partly because Certain People would apparently rather look at their phones than pay attention to where they’re going. (Me. I mean me.)
I eventually found the cafeteria (it probably only seemed like it took hours) and it’s true, the food is incredibly cheap and surprisingly good. The coffee is about what you’d expect, and your sweetner options are sugar or Equal, but it’s also 75 cents a cup with free refills. Besides, I’m blessed with the inability to tell good coffee from bad. I drink generic instant at home all the time.
It was loud, but so loud it wasn’t really distracting–the dull roar became almost like silence.
I found an okay, two-person table. Kind of cold in there, and not very comfortable chairs, but… it was fine. I wrote for a while. I ate a nice fruit cup and drank my coffee. No one bugged me. The mugs are small, that was annoying. It was after the third (small) cup that I realized the problem with writing at Ikea. No real way to save my seat–not leaving my jacket in a place that big and empty of employees–and certainly my tray would be taken if I left it for very long. And, well, I am a girl who needs to pee. I mean, fairly frequently.
When I realized that particular inconvenience, all the other things–weird chairs, AC unit blasting directly over my head, shrieking children, and the vague feeling that someone was going to ask me to leave soon, made cheap coffee suddenly Not Worth It. It would have been awfully cool and adorably quirky if Ikea was my favorite place to write, but… Nah.
I’m at Starbucks now. It’s warm. The barrista recognized me. There are people nearby I’d probably like, if I ever spoke to them, which I won’t unless there’s an earthquake or something but still. There’s soy milk in my decaf, plus three types of powders (chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg). It cost two dollars, but the cup’s a lot bigger, and I still get free refills.

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