March 6, 2009
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Walking into Café Anna I knew immediately it was going to be pleasant surprise, a little slice of southern comfort in snowy Otaru. Maybe it was the Gone with the Wind movie poster or just the gentle smile of Anna, the proprietor, regardless I knew I had found a place I could relax. I certainly needed a good sit down and hot beverage after a trek through the blustery business section of Otaru to find a currency exchange bank- a task more daunting than I had first thought. Yes a taxi would have been quicker (warmer), but I enjoy the exploration and learning process.
Anna made the best coffee! Burr grinding the beans one cup at a time, warming the classic cup with boiling water from an antique kettle she then filled a French press with the same- she was pouring my cup as the timer she obviously didn’t need went off. While enjoying the coffee I started to look around the narrow shop and noticed a collection of vinyl records. She explained they were from her father and invited me to thumb through the selection. Dating from the 50’s through the 70’s she had some classics- Andrews Sisters, Satchmo, even disco era ABBA and Diana Ross. More informed than most Americans, Anna pulled out a classic movie clip of To Kill a Mockingbird when she found out I was from Alabama… I think she must fancy the Cary Grant type.
Recovery lesson here? There once was a time that travel to a new place would have meant just a different place to pass out. In recovery, one can find the most rewarding experiences and wonderful people… and find out what savoring life really means.
So here’s a TDA Salute to Anna and her café, look her up if you are ever in Otaru.
PS: Anna has a blog, click here to go to the Café Anna blog.