Some Thoughts on Hotel Lobbies

It’s a subtle assault on the senses. I’m trying to read an article about the Chinese education system (a dubious amalgamation of anti-individualistic Confucian gibberish that destroys creativity, according to the author), but I’m having a little trouble concentrating.

The smell of mediocre coffee is competing with a waffle burning in the background. An announcer on the television behind me is outlining the details of some complicated football play while Don Henley struggles over the question of whether to use the slang term “shades” or the proprietary Wayfarers.

I’ve pushed away the detritus of my roasted potatoes and oatmeal, but that unholy combination (the only items outside of fruit that looked vaguely vegan) has left an unpleasant taste in my mouth that no amount of “robust blend” can wash away.

I want to maintain access to caffeine but need to return to the room. I can no longer bear this robbery of my concentration. It makes me think of Schopenhauer’s essay “On Noise.” Yes, no one thinks anymore, so no one notices all these subtle distractions. Alas.

The photo shown above is of a coffee house in Kansas City, Missouri, where you can get a not-mediocre cup of coffee.