If you're not careful, that is. If you are too careful, or even in many cases reasonably careful, you will go through a day and not learn a single god damn thing. But if you do something stupid or silly you're almost certainly going to learn something. Today I had to meet a friend in town who wanted to meet up for lunch; he didn't have much time, not even really lunch, more like coffee and brunch you see, so I suggested we just go to Starbucks and catch up for a bit. He countered with "have you ever had Vietnamese coffee?" to which I responded "just what they serve at Commerce." He insisted that I try the real thing and gave me directions to a place he said was really good. I say to myself "self, why not? this is a good friend, he must know something you do not know. Vietnamese coffee it is!"
So I roll up to the place and am immediately struck by how...hidden...it is. Like, it's way back sorta behind a restaurant in this weird corner of of strip mall, there is construction blocking one and a half of the ways in, it's just kind of strange you know? Then the building itself just has some nearly indecipherable characters on the front (that spell some Vietnamese words) and big, giant, tinted one way glass on the front. Immediately memories start rushing into my brain, memories of Kevin and Walter talking about just such a place, where they serve coffee, no drinks, but the atmosphere is...visually pleasing. Sure enough I walk into the place and three things strike me instantly. First, I am the only white person in the entire building. Second, at least 25% of the patrons are smoking. And last, the servers are wearing lingerie. I don't really dig Asian girls that much, but even I had to admit that the talent level was...considerable.
So it turns out that this is just sort of what my friend (and a lot of Asian dudes, actually) does with some of his spare time. Sit in a coffee shop, flirt with girls in lingerie, and order expensive and overly caffeinated non-alcoholic beverages. It was...well...it was an experience, let's just leave it at that. We had three "rounds" of drinks (regular Vietnamese coffee, super strong super cold with condensed milk just delicious), weak un-sweatened iced tea which we didn't actually order but was presented sort of as water, and fantastic avocado milk shakes. It was almost too loud to talk, almost too dark to see, and almost too smokey to breath, but we caught up and I excused myself after about an hour. He was sort of disappointed I didn't want to stay longer; I felt like my effort had already been herculean. So today...we learned something :)