Seremban is a small town. Yes, I admit that. It is a place with less shopping complexes and no specific "hip and cool" lepak place. Some people say, "Seremban ni apa ada..." Some people laugh at this small town and compare it with KL. Cewwwaah..!!! Yelah..yelah...for someone whose parents' might not be originated from Seremban, you can say a sh*t about this place. As for me, this place is somewhere I called - "tanah tumpahnya darahku!" (check out the verse from national anthem...hehe)
I can be very defensive about Seremban. Sometimes people think that my defences are up for nothing because their argument is true. Yes, for someone who is not into chasing modernisation too much, I might be a little bit old fashion. But if everyone loves the big city life, then who will appreciate the small town peacefulness? In my opinion, sometimes, it is not just about modernisation. Have you heard of gayatisation, folks?
The root word is "gayat".
Where a person thinks that everything in big city is good and everything in small town is bad.
Where the person forgets the origins of his parents and look down on his own ancestors.
Sometimes it is funny when they say, "I lepak kat Pavi," when what they did was lepaking at Pavilion's corridor. "I shopping kat KLCC," when they walk in front of Salvatore Ferragamo's;)
Arghh...forget about it. I'd rather enjoy my cendol here in this small town:P
People who are staying in Seremban are not necessarily originated from Seremban. It might be that I'm just being emotional about this because my parents are from this place too. They don't buy the house here because it is cheaper than KL. They don't stay here because they don't want to stay in kampung. And because this is our kampung, we just hate to see people criticise it so much;)
So, since people are criticising Seremban too much, who would have guessed that the town has a place called Starbucks?
When Howard Schultz inspired the third place concept for Starbucks, I was unaware of it. I just wanted to find a place with Wi-Fi to finish my task. Since I was staying in a small town like Seremban, there were only few options in hand. The nearest was newly opened Starbucks in Seremban Parade. It was near to the commuter station. So, when I went to work, I stopped there to do my stuff or even to blog;)
One day, one of Starbucks' barista approached me. He talked to me and we became acquaintance
since then. He told me that the company was sending him to Cameron. I told him that the place should be a nice place to work. I mean, experience does not know the meaning of location, kan?
Then, another barista approached me and we talked about blogging. She was a blogger too; so we shared a great deal of stories. It was raining cats and dogs that evening, so she invited me to a session called coffee tasting - where they talked about their products and learned more about it. I learned about Starbucks more than I knew I could that day. And I got to know the baristas as well!
Eventually, I became the regular customer and visitor. The people there knew my preferences. They won't bother about the time I spent there. Sometimes, they introduced new stuff to me too. My hectic days became quiet the moment I entered Starbucks - I just sipped my drinks while I was doing my work. The comfortable chairs provided me the space I wanted. Messy things at work has been replaced by the calmness of my sanctuary. Nobody disturbed me there;)
One fine day, the place had literally became my work place.
A day after I left my job in the baby milk factory, I went to Starbucks to get a part time job. Yeah...I guess some people might think that it was a crazy idea. But only I knew what I was doing. One day, I shall explain my actions to you, folks. Those were the days when I wanted to be Michael Gates-Gill;)
My retail experience was fantastic~! I learned more about myself when I was working there. I learned about people when I was working there too. And of course, I learned about Starbucks' product and services. I mean, people accused Starbucks of selling non-halal products and things like that - I knew better when I was the one who prepared those, folks;)
That was the time I learned about the third place concept too. What is third place concept?
"Starbucks uses the term the third place in its marketing because it vies to be the "extra place" people frequent after home and work. This idea came from a marketing concept by Howard Schultz. In an attempt to make Starbucks a "home away from home", the café section of the store is often outfitted with comfortable chairs, as well as the usual tables and hard-backed chairs found in cafés. Free electricity outlets are provided for patrons, and many branches also have wireless internet access, provided on a charge basis by T-Mobile and AT&T. Many larger retail stores also host "mini-concerts" for local musicians.
In August 2009, Starbucks stated, "We strive to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers. We do not have any time limits for being in our stores, and continue to focus on making the Third Place experience for every Starbucks customer."
I served latte to a lawyer who came there at 5pm everyday.
I served Chocolate Chip Frappucino to a bunch of medic students who would come at 6pm everyday.
There was an architect who showed me his travelling pictures while I was serving him hot chocolate.
There was a handsome guy who had his breakfast with cinnamon rolls. Hehehe.
They came daily with their laptops. Just like me. They made the place their third place, just like I did. But guess what, folks? I was lucky because I got to experience the third place while I was wearing my office attire and when I was wearing Starbucks' green apron:)
So, when I received a message from my ex-supervisor stating that this place was about to be closed, my mind drifted to several memories. The smiley days and the crying days. As an officer who came with the laptop and as a barista who served the drinks and cleaned the floor.
I came to the farewell party immediately after I finished work - I left KL at 5.30pm! An abnormal routine, indeed. And a day before it was due to be closed, I took this picture (with one of my the fellow blogger! But we'll talk about that later, shall we?)
Goodbye, my third place. You were the witness of a life. The person's name is Sha.
Oh, we still have one more Starbucks in Seremban, folks! It is in Seremban 2;p
Alaaa...kecohlah, Sha. Seremban apa adaaaaaaaaa.....