A $5 coffee and an Ottawa landmark


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Why are these carts so dingy? Let's get some students out to paint them. Photo By Terrance Gavan

By Seamus O’Bradaigh

Ottawa – I just spent $5 for a cup of coffee and am spending a good part of my afternoon staring out at the baggage carts from the plate glass windows at Ottawa Inerfractional Airport.

Guess where I bought it?

“Not Tim Horton’s” is not a valid answer.

Yes that’s right. Starbucks. Is there a Tim Horton’s at Ottawa Terminal Two – brand spanking new?

A map on the departure level tells me there is.

I’m here for about three hours give or take.

I took off from Toronto to Winnipeg at 11 am this morning and am in Ottawa at 3 pm. My flight leaves at 18 something and I’m guessing that’s around 6 pm.

Guess how I paid for this flight?

“Air Miles!” Good guess.

So the woman at Starbucks asks me.

“What size?”

And I know what I’m supposed to say to the Barrista at Starbucks when I’m asked this question.

I am supposed to say Vente.

I think that’s the biggest one.

There are no Starbucks in Haliburton. So, I’m not sure of the rest of the sizes either.

I do know that me and my Keurig coffee maker have a pact.

I try to drink five cups of coffee before I have my shower.

After that I will have several more. I quit counting because I know if I do count I will have to explain to my general practitioner Coach Kinsella O’Grady that I am now drinking 23 coffees a day.

If I told my doctor that I am drinking 23 – or more – coffees a day she would drive over to my house, kick in the door, go straight to the kitchen, grab my Keurig Espresso maker and stomp that poor bugger into pieces.

So, Dr O’Grady? If you’re reading this?

I have no clue.

Anyway. Botom line. I have had only two coffees today.

And I have no idea if Vente is the largest so I say.

“A big one.” I stop. “The biggest one,” I say.

She does me a huge favor. She nods politely and walks away!

This is surprising because I have ordered in Starbucks from Halifax to Boston to Minneapolis to Vancouver and points between and here’s the usual response.

“You mean a Vente?”

“Is that the biggest one?” I ask.

And they say: “Yes.”

So mark this down.

Trip from hell to the Peg?

“Was not made to feel like a bloody idiot by the Starbucks Barista.” My grey day looking out onto the baggage carts out here in front of me is looking better already. I am here looking at these rusty and battered and forlorn baggage carts because there are leather sofas with free wifi and plug-ins for the laptop and iPhone.

Everything is mint except the view.

So I’m wondering why Air Canada doesn’t just pop for new carts.

I think some of them were here when Lester B Pearson was traveling economy – instead of Bev Oda, the Diva who only jumps with Executive Class.

Okay so the carts are still viable.

But what about a coat of paint. I mean we hire about 7,000 students from across Canada for the summer and they wil be tasked with painting every goshdarn baggage cart in every airport in Canada, Red and White with a Canadian flag.

Win win here I think Mr. Harper.

We get some kids to work and my view would improve immensely.