It hurts to pay retail…

Disclaimer: This post was created in my brain while waiting to get my nostril re-pierced.

Day of event: 04/12/2019, Friday

Weeks fly by. Earning calls come quick. Weekends arrive before I am ready. Cannot comprehend life at this pace. On a different note, my new nose jewelry was not the right size and kept on falling off. As a result all patience was lost and I removed the jewelry once and for all. Soon my piercing died off.

5:15 PM – I step out of the tarot card reader’s establishment feeling conned (no offence meant for tarot card science. The psychic can feel free to be offended though). I always thought that psychics were not meant to talk negative about their clients. This one did. She was brutal. I was too broken to even fight back (not that I would have anyway). It shall be a while before that gets funny.

5:30 PM – The wait at Deep Roots Piercing & Tattoo was real – 45 minutes. I was at UW and decided to enjoy whatever was left of the Cherry Blossoms and do my favorite thing for healing purposes – get coffee. The Psychic’s words rushed through my mind. Coffee needed desperately.

I figured Orin’s place at the Paccar would be a good place to get coffee. I took the road I traversed while I worked as a Student Assistant at Foster’s. Some things never change – the way to Paccar was still as beautiful.

I worked as a Research Assistant for PhD students at the Foster School of Business during my 1st year of the Master’s degree. It was hard work! Taking care of all of the research studies and the undergrad kids was very interesting. And it was great! One fine day, one of the PhD students took me out for coffee at Orin’s. That was probably my first interaction with Starbucks. I had no clue what to order and the prices looked a lot more than I could afford at that time. So, I went for cheapest – brewed coffee. She saw me struggle with creme and sugar and said, “Boy, you don’t do this often, do you?”

She was right. I’d never bought coffee before then. Never needed to. I lived 2 blocks away from the campus and ran home for everything.

Sadly, Orin’s was closed today so I decided to buy coffee from Suzzallo.

5:50 PM – The Quad.

Call me superstitious but the people I visit the quad to see cherry blossoms or the Skagit Tulip festival with walk out of my life sooner or later. So, I make a conscious choice of not blossoming in cherries and tulips with the people I love.

I walked to Suzzallo to grab coffee from the moderately new and shiny Starbucks they have. If you haven’t checked out the new store yet, you should. I ordered the usual – Caramel Macchiato and paid retail since it is a Licensed store (hence, no employee discounts). Man, it hurts to pay retail! Coffee @ Starbucks IS expensive!

5:52 PM – While I waited for my drink and chilled on the very comfortable and mostly supremely expensive leather couch I was reminded of Thursdays.

During the second year of my Master’s, Thursdays used to be straight 16 hour days. I used to pick a 8-9 hour shift at the UW Athletics during the day and attend the lecture in the evenings. On my way from UW Athletics to Mary Gates I used to pick up Starbucks Coffee from the HUB. It was a routine I loved. Also, my second interaction with Starbucks.

My entire family flew in to see me graduate. I felt blessed. Sending over gifts is a tradition I love. I sent back gifts from the 1st Starbucks in Seattle. In case you didn’t know, the 1st Starbucks store carries exclusive merchandise that is not sold elsewhere in the world.

The first Starbucks Store. Picture from :
http://blog.logomyway.com/history-of-starbucks-logo-design/

A week later, I received an offer from Starbucks.

An offer from Starbucks took me back to connecting the pieces of my life – piecing the puzzle if you will. My first interaction with Starbucks was an introduction to Starbucks in all sorts of ways. The second interaction taught me how priceless it was – Starbucks coffee on Thursdays was the most needed and valuable coffee of the week! My third interaction with Starbucks instilled a sense of pride in me. My most recent interaction with Starbucks made me realize that one can still have a borderline impostor syndrome after almost three years of working with the company.

The point is, I never thought that incidences in life are actually connected; that the experiences you have actually mean something. There IS a bigger picture and every experience, good or bad, helps build that bigger picture. You never know what the experiences you have shall lead to. I have experienced Starbucks in different capacities in the past few years – each one more rewarding than the previous one.

This passing thought gives me hope. Maybe the recent turn of events mean something; the creation of a bigger picture that I can’t see because I am not tall enough. Time to be grateful; time to be hopeful; time to have some faith. More to come.

Also, look how famous working at Starbucks can make one!

#wontEatWillTravel Roy, WA

Date: 01/26/2019 to 01/27/2019

Venue: Roy, Wa

Fire is now married and moves out of Seattle soon. We are trying to make the most of our time with her and so a few weekends ago we airbnb’d a YURT! And it was lovely.

The yurt we rented was in Roy, WA, an hour away from Seattle downtown. It is 35-40 miles before Mt. Rainier. Saturday was a perfectly sunny day to start our trip.

Do more of what makes you happy. Especially when it’s sunny.

We started at around 11 AM and stopped at Punjab Sweets, Kent, for brunch. I highly recommend the kadhi chaawal. Once we hit the road again we shook up our plans a little. Paradise, Mt. Rainier, was started as a stop. It was an hour’s worth of detour. We hoped to make it till the sunset. The sunny weather promised a beautiful sunset – and i was dying for some colors.

As we approached the Mt. Rainier national park, Fire realized that she had forgotten her national park annual pass. However, that did not seem to matter because the entrances were unmanned owing to the government shut down. Also, the road was open only up to a certain point owing to the snow. Paradise was a bad idea. We took a U-turn.

Rainier looked splendid from wherever it could be spotted. Snowy, reflective, beautiful… plain beautiful. We caught only the glimpse of the sunset on our way to the yurt. There is nothing like a little dash of pink to the blue sky.

The yurt was a part of a larger property. The property had a main house, 2 yurts, a tent cabin… and I am sure we missed something. It was shortly after the sunset that we were escorted to the yurt by the owners. There it was… our yurt… in the backdrop of a pretty dense forest… decorated by Christmas lights. The interiors were absolutely classic, and handmade.

The property
The yurt at day time
The beautifully lit yurt at night fall

Catch: There was no legit heater in the room and only 2 beds. The beds would be fine since they had heated mattress pads. The windstorm had sabotaged the pipes and so the water from the sink in the kitchen had no outlet. The windstorm had also sabotaged the common restrooms. We had a compostable toilet though – which meant we could hear each other pee. The hosts were gracious enough to let us use the restroom and shower from the main house.

The compostable toilet. Pee much?

The hosts invited us to keep warm around the fireplace. We graciously accepted the offer. We stayed by the fire till dinner. Oh yes, girls can talk non-stop.

Dinner was Maggie. As the tradition goes, we slept off gossiping.

Sunday was a new day. Being the first one to wake up i decided to go on a walk by myself. It was a foggy foggy morning.

It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

We joined the hosts for an organic breakfast. It was going to be a lovely morning. I settled on the chair on the front porch of the yurt comprehending how not to give a f***. I occasionally looked around and felt grateful; how lucky I was to be strong, free, independent and happy. I turned back to look inside the yurt – Fire and Water were chilling on their beds – Fire laughing hysterically over Mrs. Funnybones. We left soon to come back home.

A few candids..

A few things to remember if you’re traveling to new formats of airbnbs –

  1. If you look forward to booking a yurt/cabin/airbnb for the summer make sure you do it at least a couple months in advance. The good places go pretty fast.
  2. Carry enough food and alcohol. We fell short.
  3. Carry a hand sanitizer and extra toiler paper just in case.
  4. Carry warm clothes so that you are prepared in case of adverse weather conditions. Socks.Slippers are very important.
  5. Carry comforters just in case.
  6. Carry board games if you like.
  7. Carry bottles of water.

Safe Travels!