Decided to try out the Starbucks drive-thru this morning. Was on my way to the DMV (American DVLA) to ascertain how I might perchance obtain a Tennessee driver’s licence. Having been warned by Alyn that this could take some time, I realised that skipping my coffee this morning at breakfast might not have been such a good plan, and resolved to visit Starbucks.
Now, a word here about Starbucks, since earlier in these pages I have been, um, forthright in my condemnation thereof. I am still not a fan as such, but have now had three Starbucks coffees in the States, and they have all been OK. Not outstanding, but definitely ok.
But Starbucks is on the way to the DMV, and they have a drive-thru, and getting out of one’s vehicle for anything other an emergency is frowned upon here.
And so it was that I arrived at the window, where the nice lady asked me for $4.32. I did wonder if she might be prophetic, as I hadn’t ordered anything yet. And it transpired that somehow I had managed to avoid ordering anything at the intercom-thing earlier in the drive-thru queue and she was charging me for somebody else’s venti iced triple shot pumpkin latte extra soy decaf. I am conscious that I was listening to WSM country music radio, but not *that* loud. This basic inability to use a drive-thru was kind of mortifying. It’s not as if we don’t have drive-thrus in the UK. Anyhow, the rest of the exchange went like this.
“Not a problem, so what can I get you?”
“Black Americano, small please”
“Where are you from?”
At this point she screwed up her face and banged her hands on the counter, exclaiming “DARN YOU!”
I looked appropriately puzzled. She apologised for darning me.
“It’s only my favourite place!” she explained.
“Oh,” I said, “Have you been?”
I love this.
“But it’s top of the list!”
I warned her to lower her expectations.
She gave me the Americano on the house, because “it’s not every day we get someone from Ireland in here.” I might have pointed out that I will be in there every day for the next 9 months if they keep giving me free coffee, Starbucks or no…