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Day 13: Going around the world just to find home.

confession time: i have been to this cafe a few times already. ok, A LOT of times already. i guess you could say that i like it. but, what do i like some much about it, you ask? i actually can’t really put my finger on it. i mean, the atmosphere – the global theme and all that – is right up my alley. there are cozy spots to sit inside. the coffee is good. and cheap. and there are places to sit in the windows. i mean, seriously, that in and of itself makes it cool, right? on top of all of that, there is ample outdoor seating. cute, little wrought-iron tables & chairs. and it is right in the middle of a great area, with tons of people. all stuff that i like very much. all things that make a top choice of cafes in my book.

but, i think there is another reason i keep going back…

i’m a local there. well, almost.

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DSC_0998the flat iron building between battery park & wall street. freaking awesome building. world cafe is down there on the right side.

the second time that i ended up at world coffee cafe, i recognized some people. and, dare i say, they recognized me? i did trade a few smiles with a few of the regulars – or at least they were regular in the sense that they were there also the last time i was there. and, also,  as i sat at one of the outdoor tables with my book in my hand, someone passed by that i knew. and we chatted for a short minute or two. i felt like a real local yokel then, ya know?  of course, the real test is when the baristas know what i want before i ask for it. i haven’t been there that often, and quite a few days or weeks have always passed in between my visits. but they’ll know what i want soon. i’m sure of it.

i keep showing up there, because it’s just so easy. it’s like my go to cafe when i have a little time to kill. and it is a place i can enjoy for hours on end. for real. i can sit at the tables and chairs outside and either work on my computer or read all afternoon. and i have done that once or twice. i’ve even had some conversations with random people.

on friday, when i was there for my “40 days of fika” fika, i did just that…

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i had an appointment with someone about something (it’s a secret right now, but it’s super cool!) and he suggested that we meet at world coffee cafe. so, that’s why i decided friday would be my world coffee cafe fika day. we met outside and shook hands, then he led me to the space we were going to visit together – in the same building, just on the 5th floor.  after our short little meeting, we said our goodbyes, and i headed into the cafe to get down to 40 days of fika business.

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i ordered my coffee and began snapping shots of the inside of the cafe. it’s quite big, as there are some different rooms in the back. it’s decorated with art and stuff from all over the world – asian, african, middle eastern. european. i l love that. my wanderlust-y self feels inspired by all of the global artifacts around me, and my travel fever rises.

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of course, since it was beautiful outside i didn’t stay inside, and i decided to grab a little table just off the sidewalk for myself. no longer than i had sat down, and a 20-something girl/woman/lady/chick (?) came over and began chatting with me and my table neighbor, a man on his laptop. all three of us were conversing for a while, then the man dropped out somehow. the girl kept chatting with me, as she smoked her cigarette, balancing it on her lip and swaying back and forth as she stood near my table. she never sat down, though i offered, because she said she was on her smoke break and she sits all day. she also worked in that same building, on the 5th floor.

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she told me of her amazing dad (i don’t know how we got on that subject) and gave me tips on good beer places in west asheville. and we shared our mutual love for asheville as a funky, all-accepting place. we chatted for about 20 minutes. oh, how i love that. you know, that carefree, not-afraid-of-each-other way of striking up a conversation with a stranger. she finished her cigarette and hurried back upstairs. i’m certain we’ll run into each other again.

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i finished my coffee and headed out to take some photos downtown. i didn’t feel like i needed to stay extra long in order to soak up the atmosphere of this cafe… i’ve already got a good grip on it. and i’m hooked. i thought back to why i love this place so much. and i realized that, as i am slowly approaching the mid-point of these 40 days of fika in 40 different cafes, i yearn to go back to many of them. becoming a “regular” means that i have begun to establish a community. and that feels good.

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but, for now, i fika on. ready for the next one… because, it is so much fun to get out of my comfort zone and to discover new places. i’ll have plenty of time later on to establish a favorite, go-to places. there’s no time to get stuck now. actually, i suppose that is a good lesson for life, huh? why would we even want to get stuck in the same routine in life? think of all that we miss when we don’t try a new cafe, meet a new person, travel to a new place, jump on a new opportunity?

at the same time, we also need those places that ground us. that feel like home. we need to return and meet people we know. we need to reflect and recharge in familiar setting, and then set off again on our next adventure!

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fyi: the mug that i carry *almost* everywhere with me is made by my sweet, “sis”, trista hudzik reynolds. she’s a potter in the river arts district, and i love telling everyone about her – since everyone asks about my amazing mug!

yeah. soon i’m gonna know all about 40 different cafes. and i’ll have my favorites, i’m sure. and in a few of them i’m sure that i’m gonna be a real. true. local. world coffee cafe will probably be one of them…

i’ll let you know when they know what i want before i order.

namaste. /liz

world coffee cafe . 18-20 Battery Park . Asheville, NC . 28801 . http://worldcoffeecafe.com

About Liz McGuire

Liz is a blogger, writer, and amateur photographer in Asheville, NC. She is a returning expat, re-adjusting to American life after living in Sweden for the past three years. On any given day you can find her planning her next adventure with her wife, blogging away on her blog (www.belovelive.com) about daily life and social issues, and discovering little hidden gems and secret places in the city. She faithfully totes her camera and her coffee mug everywhere she goes. And she’s always up for a conversation about spirituality, politics, or other taboo topics. You can find her on the web at www.belovelive.com.

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