On the modern world

Jun 5th, 2024

On the modern world

I went on my second solo trip yesterday – to Edinburgh no less.

Still being limited in the distance I can walk (though I managed four flights of stairs and about 6000 steps), and also a bit short of time, I went into a coffee shop (called the “Black Sheep”) for some lunch. There was a short queue at the counter and I joined it. After watching a few people get their orders, I noticed that no one was paying for anything. Somewhat confused, I looked behind me and realized that I had missed a large bank of screens with a sign saying “Orders Taken”.

I suddenly realized that there were no tills, and no other way of ordering apart from the computerized one. So I gave it a try and it was fine – but my god, quite a way from Costa Coffee in Helensburgh. So first choose the option for your food. There are loads of different icons for sandwiches, cakes, crisps, drinks etc, but just to simplify matters I chose the “lunch deal” which was a sandwich, a drink and a packet of crisps. And then we were into the options – I’ll only mention the options I took because otherwise I would have been there all day. Sandwich – hot or cold? What kind of toastie? What sort of bread? What sort of cheese? (only one sort of ham though). Drink – hot or cold? What kind of coffee? What sort of cup? What sort of milk (six options)? Temperature – hot, extra-hot or warm? Sprinkles? Marshmallows? Syrup – what kind of syrup (lots and lots of options)? Crisps – eight sorts but none that I would call crisps, they were all things like “Organic macrobiotic vegan bites with basil and spirogira”. I chose “humus and basil lentil curls” for want of anything else.

So eventually I finished the order and went to the counter. Believe it or not, after all that the guy said “Sorry, no cheese and ham toasties. Would you like a croissant instead?” So so much for computer technology – and the lentil curls were rotten. The coffee was good though.

It occurs to me that things seem to be changing so fast that I need to go into the city from time to time – otherwise one of these days I am going to encounter some piece of new technology and have no idea of how to use it.

The picture is of the Firth of Clyde from the Helensburgh -> Edinburgh train.