This past Monday, I sat at a Starbucks, working with a student I tutor. (Coffee, Free Wifi, people watching....HEAVEN!)
I have sat in a million different Starbucks around this city and these few hours Monday night were by far the strangest I have ever encountered.
Let's begin with the gentleman sitting to the right of me when I sat down. He looked ordinary, he was listening to an Ipod and he was typing away on his laptop. As I leaned over to plug my charger in, I happened to notice a strange graphic on his computer screen. Is that a cannon? No, not a cannon, maybe a strange cartoon person? I continued to gaze until I confirmed that I was in indeed looking at what I thought I was looking at.
Oh, I wish I spoke whatever language that is. I NEED to know what the hell kind of message goes with a graphic of a penis. Any guess?
This is the google translation: to cause the lie becomes not a problem. (That is not really what I was expecting.)
Then he continued working and a new graphic appeared:
Oh Mister, please let me know what these posters are for because they are quite eye popping. The translation from Swedish is : You can get twice as much fun. (Now those graphics actually match the words!)
Shortly after sneaking these pictures, he closed up shop and left Starbucks. I thought that my fun was over but that was not the case. A group of guys then sat down at the table to my left. After about 15 minutes of coffee drinking and gossip, they preceded to take put their toiletry bag and get ready to go out for the night. I'm talking moiterizing your body, applying makeup, and doing their hair. AT THE TABLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STARBUCKS. Where is that ever appropriate? Why couldn't they go to the bathroom? I will never understand.
Around the same time as this was happening to my left, a young guy sat down at the table to my right. He took out a chess board and pawns and began to practice some strategies from his chess practice book. (Not really my ideal chess practice arena, but not super strange.) After 15 minutes of practice, a man sits down at the table across from the young kid. He doesn't say a word, but starts to rearrange the pieces on the board as you would to set up a chess game. The kid, clearly annoyed at this stranger, says "excuse me, I'm practicing." The man doesn't reply, he continued moving pieces around. The kid then says, "Well I guess this means you want to play a game?" The strangers responds, with a complete stone face, "I will crucify you." The kid laughs it off, sticks out his hand and introduces himself. The stranger then repeats, "I will crucify you."
After the game is set up and ready to play, the kid asks, "Can I get your name?" The stranger holds is hand up in a "Talk to the hand" movement but doesn't say a word.
The game continued like this for a while and I eventually finished working and headed home without knowing who won.
I figured that after those three events, my night was over, but I was again mistaken.
Side note: If you have never been to New York then you might be unfamiliar with the fact that every third time you get on the subway, someone asks for money. They may be homeless and share with you a sad story about getting mixed up with the wrong people and going to jail, or they might be selling candy or dvds, or they might be performing some type of art (face painting, dancing, mime included.)
This particular night, I could smell the crazy before they even got on the train with their boombox. I almost moved cars, but didn't have time before the doors shut. These two guys started out turning on their music and doing some robot moves, followed by a few handstands, jumps, and flips. Then this happened:
The guy grabbed the poles on the ceiling and went to town like a trapeze artist. He flipped, rolled into a ball, and hung by his leg. It was crazy impressive, but I had no small cash on me to give them and I wasn't about to throw them a twenty that I had just earned watching all the crazy stuff happen above.
Finally, we got to my stop and I was able to walk home without any incidents. I do apologize for crappy photos, my phone is not super high tech and I am always trying to be stealthy because I don't need to be arrested for invasion of privacy.