Coming here is always such a treat. The excitement I have for this cafe is the equivalent to my excitement for a classy night out with friends at a fancy five-course-meal restaurant. It's definitely not anything like walking into Starbucks. During my senior year of high school, I'd always treat myself to studying here during finals week (throwback x1 & x2), because there's nothing like waffles to cheer you on! This Sunday we needed a special place to go celebrate Father's Day, so I thought, what could be better than a Sunday afternoon at Maan Coffee with my dad and little brother? (he's taller than me lol)
Dad sends us in first after lunch while he goes to get a haircut nearby. I'm sad to see that the green tea waffle with green tea ice-cream is no longer on the menu. Danny chooses a fresh fruit waffle with strawberry ice-cream (38RMB) for us to share, and we each order our own drinks; Danny gets the caramel frappe (32RMB) and I get the iced hazelnut caramel latte (32RMB). We are handed a green teddy bear that acts as our table number; it even says "green bear" on our receipt!
The cafe is unexpectedly spacious and we easily find a table. I would have thought that there'd be more people at a beautiful cafe like this on a Sunday afternoon! Nevertheless, there's still an unmistakable coffeehouse buzz in the air. Sunlight streams in through the glass walls and illuminates the assortment of lamps and chandeliers hanging down, the eclectic collection of chairs on the floor, and the tree trunks springing up around the place. The cafe is spacious but far from empty.
Dad finishes his haircut and joins us with the iced hazelnut caramel latte he ordered. Excellent choice. Our plan is to stay here until my laptop battery runs out so I don't bring a charger with me, but for future reference, there are sockets at most (if not all) tables, probably to keep all those lamps plugged in. As the afternoon progresses, more people start coming in, and as far as I can tell, everyone is having a swell time. So good in fact that we decide to stay here all the way until dinnertime, whether or not my laptop battery runs out, which it didn't. Danny's, on the other hand, did, so I let him borrow my book.
And my laptop is left untouched. Which, for me, is a great anomaly. And it's not like I'm trying to save my batteries either. I just... don't feel the need to use it and don't want to use it. I read my book before handing it over to Danny, and then I take out pen and paper to draft blog posts.
Maybe it's because I didn't bring a charger with me this time around. I'm the kind of person who brings her charger around everywhere, and when I'm home, my devices are almost always plugged in, unless I know that I won't be leaving any time soon, because then if my batteries run out, I can always go back and recharge. When I leave the house, everything is at 100% battery. But just in case, I still have my chargers with me. I'm set. I have the freedom to use my devices as much as I need, as much as I want.
Or do I? Is it freedom I have? Or is it a constraint in disguise? Sure, I can use my MacBook/iPhone/iPad however much I want and recharge whenever I need to so that I can keep using them. But for me, there's also a need. I feel an obligation to continuously use my laptop when I know that I can. All this productivity at my fingertips, how can I just leave it there?
First of all, that's a total lie. If I have time and a laptop--heck, even if I don't have time!--you can be assured that I will be checking Tumblr/Facebook/Tumblr/YouTube/did I mention Tumblr??
Second of all, I, and I'm sure in this modern age many other people too, have this hustle mentality. This is not a newsflash. I've come to terms with giving myself a break; I don't need to work all the time. But what do I do during those breaks? Check social media? Watch movies and TV shows? I'm constantly feeding myself a torrent of information. This I'm aware of. I know that I should rest properly during my breaks. Sometimes I do. We've all been given that stop and smell the roses spiel.
What I wasn't aware of were the inadvertent ways I perpetuate this hustle mentality. Like carrying my charger around everywhere for instance. Good thing I took a long enough break to smell the waffles.
TianZhu, Shunyi District, Riverville Square
Number 5 - MAAN COFFEE
(+86 10) 6456 - 8042
PS: hothouse coffee and milk & honey cafe