How Starbucks Is Like An American Consulate

So you’ve done it. You’ve found the one Starbucks in this brilliant, exciting new city.

Starbucks in Poland
UNSPLASH Szymon12455

You thought you would never go hunting for Starbucks abroad because that’s not what you do abroad. You find the coffee and tea of the region and let your tastebuds wander over new and exciting planes. This is all fine and good until you’ve been away from home for four months and all you want is a (sort of) real café Americano, or if you’re abroad during the fall and it happens to be pumpkin spice season. So you walk into the Starbucks and let the familiar smells overwhelm you and after the whole experience is over, you feel like you’ve just been to a more aromatic version of the American consulate.

Ways in which Starbucks resembles the American consulate:

1. There will always, inevitably, uncontrollably be a line.

No, it doesn’t matter what time of day you go. Everyone who ever told you that is lying.

2. A multitude of languages are spoken in that line.

How do you say “pumpkin” in Italian?

Starbucks pumpkin
Facebook Starbucks

3. You will have to do paperwork.

Oh yes you will. Ever tried accessing the WiFi? Just enter this simple 93 digit PIN on the back of your receipt and then fill out these three pages of digital information. Don’t forget your passport and social security number.

4. You had best know what you are looking for by the time you get to the register/window.

Don’t hesitate or they will call the next person. I hope you did your research during your hour in line.

5. And it had best not be complicated.

No alterations. Non-fat, non-expedited or otherwise.

6. There are certain standards that everyone will be asking for (oh another visa? Oh, another PSL?)

Learn the mantra.

Starbucks India
Facebook Starbucks

7. Finding a seat is like finding a Willy Wonka golden ticket.

The lady with the baby is halfway through her yogurt. Time to make our approach.

8. You have to take a friend, in case the experience is just too much.

Sitting alone is isolating. Unless you take a good book…and even then it’s questionable.

9. You leave there thinking you are never going back…

…until the government or the PSL season finds you again.

Amanda Rodrigues


When Amanda is not traveling the world, she is developing her writing skills and working on manuscripts. Her favorite cities are Barcelona, Venice and home!

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