Innsbruck Cafe

23 Feb
Austria, you are not real life.

Austria, you are not real life.

The cafe is a cramped, chairs line the bar, leaving a narrow pathway to the back where it briefly expands to allow tables. The arched stone ceiling leaves little excess room, forcing the staff to crouch through the pantry door.

Sweet, sweet espresso.

Sweet, sweet espresso.

I saddle up at the bar with an espresso and a slice of apple strudel. The vanilla ice cream melts over the crispy top layer and slowly runs into the soft apple interior like lava. The cool vanilla is a perfect complement to the hot apples bursting inside of the soft warm dough. I drop one brown sugar lump into my cup and watch the barista make espresso after espresso.

An old man hobbles in, his hair falling out and tangled, his clothing fraying and dirty. The two baristas look at him and whisper to each other. My heart breaks a little and I wonder if I should offer to buy him food or if that would insult him. He shakes as he approaches the seat next to mine. By the time he sits, the first barista has made his way around the counter to the old man’s side and hands him a newspaper, the second, behind the counter, presents a cup of espresso to him on a porcelain plate with a silver spoon, on the house. The old man sits beside me, reading his paper for just under an hour.

The barista turns on his iPod and starts to sing along, dancing as he cleans up his work area. The second barista laughs at his partner’s antics as he wipes down the bar. They begin washing dishes and stealing glances at their phones. I give myself a moment more in the warm tunnel-like space, then step out into the crisp Alpine night air.

From a collection of journal entries I keep while traveling, mostly to remember moments as vividly as possible for later writing.

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2 Responses to “Innsbruck Cafe”

  1. rosefulk February 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    So much love for the alps. Reading this made me tear up (in a good way).

    • Diamond Fischer February 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm #

      The alps are incredible, I have a few notes and journal entries on visiting them. Just stunning.

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