Scrubbing with a Smile

In 2004, with just a semester left at Texas A&M, I decided to live in London for the summer. I showed up with enough money to last me a month, a work visa, and wide eyes. A couple weeks later, the money had run out and I found myself on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor of the Starbucks in Piccadilly Circus.  Tourists from America were walking over me to get their venti nonfat white chocolate mocha with whip (the most ridiculous drink in the world) and I was feeling a little blue.  This wasn't how I imagined my summer going. But, then the Starbucks UK Summer mix kicked on.  Jimmy Cliff singing "I Can See Clearly Now" was the next song that came on and a smile crept across my face as I put a little elbow grease into getting crusted spilt frappuccino out of the entry way tiles.  Here I was, in one of the coolest cities in the world, fighting for my next meal and on an adventure. That is something worth seeing clearly about.

When I was back in London two weeks ago, I went back to that Starbucks in Piccadilly Circus.  I walked in and ordered a ridiculous drink that only an American would order.  And, as I watched the new batch of Barista scramble to keep the orders moving down the espresso bar, I just had to smile. The next song on this Summer's UK mix? Jimmy Cliff singing "I Can See Clearly Now."

...Oh yes, I can make it now the pain is gone All of the bad feelings have disappeared Here is the rainbow I've been praying for It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day...