Monday, January 3, 2011

My Favorite Starbucks, Ubud on Bali (Indonesia)

I’m a Starbucks-goer. I even collect the mugs. I am one of the millions of Americans who ENJOY the feeling of home that a Starbucks outside the US gives us. The US Starbucks have given up on “cozy” and crammed the space with as many wooden chairs and tables as possible. Those leather sofas and overstuffed armchairs take up room—and room is money.

Not so in the Starbucks in Munich, where I live. Cozy is still very much on the menu in München. Yet even with their Bavarian Gemütlichkeit, these little oases dry up in the shade of the Starbucks in Ubud, Indonesia on the island of Bali.

In contrast to much of the island, Ubud, the cultural center of Bali, is well worth a visit. You can spend days browsing the shops or rummaging through the markets. The hotels in Ubud are smaller and quainter than the large tourist hotels in Kuta. If you want more art and less sand, you’ll like Ubud. Hey, and you’ll love the Starbucks in Ubud. Shoot me, go ahead.

Or maybe you have a favorite Starbucks of your own? Perhaps you’ve been to a Starbucks that amazed you or a Starbucks that inspired you. OK, I’m nuts. True. Writers need Starbucks and all of the other Starbucks-like establishments. We need the roar of an audience (I often imagine the other coffee-drinkers nodding to one another, chinning to me and saying ‘Man, I wonder what he’s writing. He looks so, um, smart, and so, gosh I don’t know, handsome/dashing/scrumptious scribbling in that notebook. Wait, shouldn’t he have a laptop? Ohhhhh, he’s probably poor, and he’s not as cute as—’ OK, that’s enough. You get the picture.

Here’s a picture of the scene outside the window of the Starbucks in Ubud. Does your Starbucks have a temple? I’m going to lean dangerously far out onto a brittle brittle limb and say . . . no.

Here’s the sign to my (yes, it’s now “my”) Starbucks. It’s brown. Not your usual green. My Starbucks is special.

Here’s the seating area on the veranda with a view to my temple. I love this picture. I took it, so I probably shouldn’t gloat. Love the perspective. So good. So good. Award-winning perspective?

So what is your favorite Starbucks? Show me your Starbucks, baby. If you don’t have pictures, I understand. Well sort of. And those of you who hate Starbucks, why so mean?

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of the absurdist satire Conversations with S. Teri O'Type