Monday, October 29, 2012

my third place

my breakfast - prepared by the coffee master himself

My first place
Seremban, Negeri Sembilan

My second place

Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

According to Ray Oldenburg:
One's "first place" is the home and those that one lives with.

One's "second place" is the workplace where people may actually spend most of their time.

Third place description is quite lengthy in wikipedia; therefore I conclude this as place which is neither the first place (home) and second place (workplace).

Last fortnight, one of my brothers brought me to one of my former third place for breakfast. We were early. The place was supposed to be opened at 10:00 a.m but we were there at 09:15 a.m. Even though the place was about to open around 45 minutes later, the employees were already there. A very young lad at the age around 18 was sweeping the floor and a a lass in her early 20s was wiping the tables. They were both wearing the green apron.

I was wondering about the supervisor in charge but my mind only wandered around 10 minutes. When I saw the person who open the shutters, my heart fluttered. I knew that guy with the black apron. He used to wear a green apron several years ago. He used to sweep the floor like the young lad. He used to wipe the tables.


Tazo Tea Passion used to be my passion
"Kak Sha, ini...Tazo Tea purple akak," a young lad brought a tray. He put the tray on my table. A very interesting fume filled the air. I saw the tip of the teabag. It was purple. I smiled.

The lad pulled a chair and sat beside me. He was smiling while watching my fingers ran through the keyboard. I turned and looked at him, "Ramai customer tak hari ni?"

He shook his head.

"Penat ye?" I asked.
"Biasalah kak. Ni dah tak ada customer. Boleh relax sekejap," he answered.

I sipped the tea while smiling. It was relaxing. My nose were inhaling a nice fruity and earthy smell. When he saw me closed my eyes and relaxed, he smiled.

"Dah habis lah Kak Sha punya trial dengan Tazo Tea, kan? Semua dah rasa?" he asked knowingly.

I grinned and said, "Yup! So, lepas ni nak minum coffee bila datang sini."

He chuckled while pointed at my shoes, 
"Alaaa...iye2 je Kak Sha ni. Nanti datang sini mintak lagi air teh purple ni. Yelah, minah purple."

I laughed aloud.

"Kau ni...macam faham je Kak Sha kan?"
"Apa yang saya tak faham. Bukan sehari dua Kak Sha kat sini. Hampir setiap hari. Apa je yang Kak Sha tak try? Sampai coffee tasting kitorang pun akak join."
"Alaaaaa...aku menempel jelah, Fad," I said.
"Kitorang yang ajak Kak Sha join sekali kan."

I noticed that his mind was not relaxed. I knew this lad for quite sometime. This was not the first time he sat with me after he brought my beverage - coffee, tea, chocolate or even sky juice.

"Kenapa Fad? Ada masalah? Kau tak nampak happy hari ni?" I asked.
"Mana adalah Kak Sha ni."
"Eleeehh...kau ingat Kak Sha kau ni tak tau, Fad?" I teased.

He gave me a forced smile and said, 
"Kak Sha, diorang nak hantar saya cover outlet baru kat Cameron Highlands."

I raised my eyebrows.

"Katanya dalam enam bulan. Risaulah kak. Tak pernah saya kerja jauh-jauh," he tried not to look worried. As a matter of fact, I was still his customer.
I grinned, "Itu je ke?"

He nodded.

"Pergilah, Fad. Semua tempat ada cabaran. Semua tempat ada kebahagiaan. Carilah," I said.
"Kak Sha je sorang cakap macam tu," he grumbled.
"Sebab Kak Sha rasa bahagia tu. Rasa cabaran tu," I gave him a matter-of-fact.
"Merantau kak?" he asked.

I nodded.


"Ehhh..." a guy looked at me with curiousity.

I smiled in my green apron.

"Encik Fadzil, nama saya Sha. New partner," He looked amazed.
"Dah jadi boss saya, mana boleh macam tu?" I teased him.

"Boss, Kak Sha ni..." he pointed at me while looking at the Branch Manager.
"She was our customer, Fadzil. I know. Now, she is under your wing."

During my break time, he asked, "Kenapa Kak Sha?"

"Mungkin kebahagiaan ada kat sini," I smiled at him.

He grinned and taught me on how to make my favourite Green Tea Cream with  Chocolate Chip   Frappucino for Employee Beverage that day.


the black apron
Back to my story earlier. Fad. Fadzil. He was the supervisor in the black apron. The experienced coffee master. The talented barista, manager and mentor to his subordinates.

"One Spicy Chicken Tortilla Set and Venti Salted Caramel Mocha. Low fat," I ordered.

The lad at the cash register was struggling. He was looking at me incredulously.

"You have low fat in there, don't you?"

When I asked that question, the guy from the office came out. I saw him. My barista. My mentor. A former boss. And...a friend. He grinned broadly.

"Mestilah ada Kak Sha. Nak Salted Caramel Mocha? Belum try lagi?" he asked.

"Dekat mana?"
"Great Eastern Mall. Jalan Ampang."
"Kak Sha kerja macam dulu balik?" he asked. I nodded.
"Hmmm...mesti macam dulu lah tu. Balik malam-malam. Penat. Mesti bosan."

I smiled.

"Tapi kan Kak Sha kata, kebahagiaan ada kat mana-mana?" he grinned.

That breakfast was eventually prepared by a coffee master. It was an honour, you know. I won't get that everyday. According to Fad, he was there only for a while to back up the operations.

Fadzil was an example on how a place besides home and workplace could be a third place. It was not because that place was glamorous. I was not trying to portrait that I was rich by saying that I went to Starbucks all the time. It was just that I chose a place where I was comfortable to have my own peace of mind with the presence of a stranger whom eventually became someone you knew well and could be proud of.

When Howard Shultz introduced the concept of Starbucks as a third place, he might not realised that it was actually a success in its own way.

It was Fadzil's personal touch who made me a satisfied customer, a trained barista, and eventually...a proud customer again.

Where is your third place, folks? Please share.


boni kacak said...

walaupun terkebil2 saya baca, tapi apa yang saya boleh simpulkan, fadzil sangat bertemu awak. dia ikut nasihat awak utk pergi cameron tu. dan sekarang dia dah berjaya..

third place saya hanya depan pc je.. :)

Pocket said...

third place pocket?
tak der...
i dont socialize that much.
i dont go to cofee joint,
i dont talk to people about my
personal things...

now i envy u...

'u wanna go where everybody knows your name' ...
the jingle kinda pop into my head now... where was that from?

Lady Windsor said...

Sha, long time ago, my first place is always Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang. 2nd was KL and third was Perak.
But for the past 3 yrs, my 1st, 2nd and 3rd is @ Windsor..being at home is always my ethusiast..nampak pagar rumah jer..fuhhhh lega!:)

Encik H said...

err..mawar biru

Rapunzeel Cikilolo said...

kalo cerita pasal tmpt mkn lepak ialah Restoren Al-Safir. mamak area ni. kat situ ade byk kenangan dengan bdk kerja...

Cikgu Ma said...

tak penah try makan/ minum di starbucks...

aroma kopi dia pun belum penah hidu ^_^

Wak Gelas™ said...

wak hari2 limpas Great Eastern mall tuuu, X penah singgah tapiii.. eeehEee

Sharian Zamrinor said...

Oooo..this fadzil guy...he's good...unlike those brats at Starbucks Alfresco KLCC

Nizam.Ariff said...

3rd place:... ermm.... sungai/laut tempat memancing

Len Inouie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Len Inouie said...

Gosh.. that question kills me.
As for me, I couldnt give 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place.
Oh man.. thats pathetic.

Yeah! Got it. 2nd place is forsure work. 1st & 2nd?

I'll think about it. haha

Bitt (double IS) said...

3rd place...ermmm bila i sampai i share k ;)

Khalilah MNor said...

3rd place sy sebelum ni nasi kandar restaurant kt cheras! hehe sebelum ni kalau ada date, pegi la jln kat mana skali pun, pegilah mkn kat mana pun sbelum ni, at last perhentian kitorang mmg dkt restaurant tu... kwn ramai tinggal kat area tu. So, kdg2 berkumpul. Mkanan dia semua boleh tahan sedap. Yang tak boleh missed, milo ais kaw! Sedap yg amat...:) *sy pulak hantu milo* setiap kali singgah, air tu wajib ada. walaupun tak makan. Tak payah susah2 order, masing2 dah tau. Mesti bwk terus. Boleh tergelak pekerja kat situ. Mmg selalu kena main... 3rd place hmpir2 bersaing dgn 2nd place pulak tu. Sehari boleh 2 3 kali stop kat situ. Best duduk situ, kawasan sekitar tak hiruk pikuk sgt. Restaurant pun bersih. Skrg, duduk kt negeri darul iman dah jarang. Bila sesekali turun sana, beberapa org mesti dtg kumpul. kdg2 boleh free mkn. Agaknye, itulah jadinya bila dpt bf terlebih ramah dan kaki lawak... 3rd place for both of us... :)

MAY said...

my 1st place...kat byk tpt..dok kat kg dgn mak..sek kat pekan..sek kat rompin,belajar kat Kuantan....

2nd place....bile da keje...di sini la..KL je..blm ade 3rd place lagi bt masa ni....

er..sha...keje great eastern jln ampang tu ke??ade kosong?blh try masuk tak? sis suh carik keje laen jgk..memandangkan gji yg ade skrg tak balance dgn diploma...wlupn suke environment kat sini,tp kene berhijrah jugak kot...rasa ckup la 4 thun bersama..kene cr tpt yg blh menaiktarafkan kehidupan ini..hik3..pjg lebar plk!

**touchingnye ade orang rindu kite...hehehe..=)

aBoi said...

So kak sha.. best tak jadi barista?

I first time hari tu pi beli cappucino at coffee house (?) not sure about the name.. hehe..I macam tercengang-cengang not sure what coffee fit me best..

So, I end up ordering cappucino that are known to be popular among the other coffees..hehe

So.. americano ice tu same ke dengan coffee ice?

Dee said...

first place, KL, 2nd place, KL..3rd place..must be KL gaklah..hahaha..

Kengkawan said...

i cant figure out wic is my third place yet. susah soklan ni.
kim salam kat fad hehe

Dinas Aldi said...

My first place is Penang. My second place, still Penang while my third place adalah tempat2 makan, also in Penang. Heheh. Deeply rooted here. Bleeding would occur if I had to be pulled out of Penang & thrown somewhere else. Seriously.

Bui Junaidi said...



fiza said...

1st place KL, 2nd place Bangi (Home sweet home) & 3rd place Cyberjaya (office).

Arghhhh...terbayang² frappucino caramel.

Kesuma Angsana said...

apapun plg best kat rumah dikelilingi anak2 & en hubby, I like this n3 very much tau!

si robot comel said...

3rd place? mungkin di Penang. I missed Penang very much.

btw Sekeping Kong Heng tu kat mana?

hainom OKje said...

Kalau cite pasal 3rd place ni, mungkin OKje, everywhere ...... janji boleh cuci mata dgn family! he..he...

ckLah @xiiinam said...

Meh datang rumah ckLah. CkLah baru borong teh dari Cameron. Hehe

Treatntrick Treat and Trick said...

That platter looks inviting! Can I join you?

new hope said...

now i realize i dont hv any third place to turn to ^^

KLIK murid orang asal ditampar kerana tidak baca doa

Remy hazza said...

satu perjalanan...... satu cabaran satu kegigihan..... segalanya tidak mudah...tapi berkat usaha......kejayaan adalah hak milik bersama......

miss nak minum tea purple tu...Tazo passion

Jna marcello said...

kak sha na baru bace entry ni..tbe na suka sgt cmmnt REMY HAZZA ni..
na nk curik ayat dye..
minx izin kak sha dlu ;))

#jgn marah

Jna marcello said...

ehh kak sha lupa lak..fadzil ade bf x? hehehehhe

Jna marcello said...

silap lagi GF not BF ;)

kiera'sakura said...

woooww kagum dengan Fadzil. itulah kan klu kita tak cabar diri kita smpi bila2 la kita kat takuk yg sama.. dan klu kita tak cuba cari kemanisan tempat lain kita tak kan rasa kemanisan yang lebih lagi..

third place saya.. insyaAllah disisi suami.. can i called u kak sha? ;)