Thursday 11 February 2016

The mysterious case of lattes to go and sportswear only nominally designed for sport

Ever since there was no real skiing this December because there was no real snow in the Alps, I’ve been wearing my hiking socks; something you’ll undoubtedly have your own thoughts on but hear me out. If more of us were wearing hiking socks, I figure, less of us would be bearing blue-grey ankles to the cold, which, even if not so cold, is cold enough to turn your exposed ankle blue. Maybe there would even be less of us wearing those clashing techno-coloured pink and fluro-yellow sneakers because these, you could argue to the evidently, even if not at first, obviously, fashion conscious, would clash with the grey. And it’s the sneakers, I suspect, which are the gateway. 

The gateway to lunching in Lycra and nipping out to the Albert Heijn to pick up the exact ingredients you need for tonight’s dinner and certainly no more unless, perhaps, there’s something in the bonus. The gateway, too, to putting on (worse) or remaining in (a little better) your yoga kit to ‘grab a latte’; though I appreciate this is an act that is also mercifully frustrated by the fact you live in Amsterdam, a city not set up for the to-go culture because, depending on how you look at it, is either 1) proud and independent, or; 2) incredibly slow on the uptake and, at any rate; 3) because its people are already ‘going’ on bikes, making lattes to go even less enjoyable than normal**. (Alternatives 1 and 2 are also, I think, factors frustrating the types who would, in a flash of neon, be swapping their lattes in yoga pants for brunch in full sporting regalia. It is, after all, very difficult to find decent brunch or even breakfast here).

And even if we could forgive the sneakers, and you could, I suppose, be forgiven for thinking they’re meant for running (ha) errands in organic stores — they’re comfy, after all, and the only thing alongside your expense account that’ll get you through New York — a form-fitting, phosphorescent, Dri-Fit T-shirt (i.e. blazingly bright gear designed to get men up mountains and not to the wine store before closing time) is harder to excuse. And at any rate, you just look silly; even if you do occasionally do actual exercise. 

**And by 'less enjoyable than normal' I mean not at all enjoyable given that even walking with one of those damp cardboard cups, let alone biking, all the while navigating people, curbs, cars and bikes while also trying to take, without spilling sips of an expensive, by-now— cold coffee that the barista took ages to make and which, in all likelihood, you probably did have the 3 minutes it would take to drink, hot, on the spot, is just not enjoyable.

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