Fire at the Temple

Firemen in full regalia tromped around Centro's patio as I walked to work at 7:25 this morning.  My manager and coworker sat at a patio table in their green aprons outside of Starbucks while the fire alarm blared inside.  While the three of us sat in front of the door, an innumerable amount of people stopped by (unsuccessfully) for coffee (or in the case of one fat regular customer, her morning lemon loaf) and each person responded the same way: increduously.  No one seemed to know what they were going to do - where were they to get their coffee and what would they do without their Starbucks?! (Gasp!).  I know: go to a differrent coffee shop.  Stop wasting $3 or $4 a day on lattes that make you fat.  This desperation became even more annoying when the interrogation started:  "Why aren't you open?"  "It doesn't look like there was a fire."  "How did the fire start?"  "When are you going to reopen?"  I realize most people were just curious but when you are asked the same set of questions for an hour it gets under your skin. Eventually about 8:30 we reopened, although the fire short-circuited some of the electrical systems and we couldn't brew coffee. For a solid hour the line was through the door - all of these people waited half an hour for their mochas!  Can't you deal with cafeteria coffee for one day?  Why are you really willing to waste that much time to stand in line: 20 minutes to order and then another ten to get your drink?  At 9:30 we closed the store again because the building management wanted to shut down the power and you wouldn't believe how many people read the sign on the door and then proceeded to try and open it anyway like it was some joke or something.  It's just coffee people - get over it!

It turned out Centro does their own laundry (tablecloths, napkins, etc.).  The electrical system in the basement is very old (you should see the old freight elevator - very cool) and combined with the dryer, caught fire.  No one was hurt and I'm not really sure of the extent of the damage, but there were some pretty smelly burnt rags outside after the fire.  I wonder if Centro will start outsourcing their laundry now...

On an entirely different note, after all of the doctor visits, X-ray, ultrasound, blood draws, urinalysis, gathering of medical records from three different institutions and personal interview with the State Dept doctor - I have received Class 1 medical clearance.  They cleared me to accompany Joey anywhere in the world - phew!  I would hate for him to have to experience living in the African jungles alone!