The muffins taste the same, the coffee tastes the same. A little piece of America, or London, depending on my mood. No purple sofas, but the chairs are so comfortable, the décor so tasteful with its as yet untarnished wood flooring, that I can let that go.
American kids take pictures of themselves and their frappuccinos, high-fiving each other, exclaiming loudly about how great it all is.
Good-looking guys who would not look out of place in DC have what I presume to be an intelligent conversation, just within my eyesight.
The barista thanks me for being a good customer when I don't express the depths of my disappointment at the lack of wifi. (It helps that I've been prewarned.)
My friend Kyle and his wife Amy come over and say hi. "I'll be spending some time here," he says, and I wonder if I'll be bumping into him a lot, if I will become friends with "regulars", if it might be time to bring out the "I <3 Democrat Boys" tshirt, just in case one of those regulars turns out to be a Josh Lyman far away from home.
The staff are polite, smiling, efficient. They greet each of us in three languages, including British English: I'm asked if I want my coffee "to take away". It's the little things.
At 9.25 they cheer together at a job well done, the first successful day over.
They kick us out, still polite, still smiling, at 9.30.