Inspired by Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia, I decided to write in second person. It was rated one of the best books of 2013 in Huffington Post book reviews. 

You may be surprised that they don’t even care about you walking by. They only go after food.

Walking out of Union Station on Clinton exit, you immediately and naturally hugged yourself and bury your face in the green scarf to this 28 degree day.

You got to the loop three hours before the meeting. So early and you have nothing to do. At the corner, you see the best place you can stay warm and get Internet, Starbucks.

Coming to Chicago is no piece of cake. It’s a 40 minute commute. And you have to catch the shuttle at the apartment complex that leaves at 7:25 a.m. in order to catch the 7:50 a.m. express train to downtown. It’s only 8:30 a.m.

You can’t remember since when you only drank mocha, sometimes pumpkin latte. More importantly, you are not a coffee consumer. Not that you don’t like coffee, it’s just you can’t drink coffee. Caffeine brings you racing heartbeats and sleepless nights.

Two years ago, you walked down the library and felt your anxious racing heartbeats. It was beating so fast that you almost thought you were to faint in the hallway. So you quickly hopped on the bus to hospital and checked. As it turned out, your doctor looked into you eyes and said, “well, nothing serious. It’s just you are sensitive to caffeine. You may want to avoid it if it makes you feel uneasy.”

Since then, you notice even coke and chocolate can bring you racing heartbeats. So ridiculous, you always think to yourself. You can’t eat or drink chocolate. When you want to drink coke, you gotta get caffeine-free coke that has a small gold banner on the label. When you happen to have a whisky coke, it’s the coke that keeps you up instead of the whisky at the end of the night.

Looking at the clock, it was 9 a.m. when you had this latte. And you know you may have trouble sleeping tonight at 9 p.m. Oh well, that’s how coffee works for you now.

But today, you feel like a Cappuccino day. As you are ordering and receiving a tall cappuccino, you kept asking yourself, “seriously, you gonna do this?!” Oh well, sure. When you could drink coffee, you always ordered mocha. But it’s gotten so sweet at the end, and you have goose bumps for finishing a sugary coffee.

The joy coffee brought you was the silky flow at the throat. Physically and mentally, it woke you up. Most of your friends are coffee addicts or lovers. It almost seems like coffee works better than alarm clocks on the bedside.

Oh bitter, you thought as you sipped the hot cappuccino. But it’s at least smooth. Then you through of coffee as a culture. Indeed, in Chinese culture, tea is the mainstream. Speaking of tea, you can now only have herb tea due to the caffeine sensitivity. Your parents drink tea all the time, during the day and after dinner. You were always told that it wakes you up and hydrates you during the day; yet, after dinner, tea washes off the grease in your stomach and helps you digest. It was from a novel you read in fifth grade when you first learned coffee was an elegant beauty. You always like the image of your holding a cup of coffee and sipping it, sitting at a outdoor cafe or walking to work. It’s like an attitude, more than a drink in hand.

But in the past two years with barely any caffeine, you have learned a new perspective and attitude. Simply, you adjusted it, or you don’t need it.

Like today, you feel like a cappuccino. It rarely happens that you want coffee. But today is the day. Sometimes you feel like coffee is equivalent to alcoholic beverages. You only have it once in a while for fun because you know it’s not good for yourself. In this case, it only you. Yes, it only you.

At last, it’s time to walk out in the cold. Ah, so cold. You wish to have this warm drink in your hand. But you can’t take this much of caffeine physically.

It’s time to move on, from coffee and for life. Simply put, if the dress doesn’t fit you, you don’t fit in it either. Why bother. Move on. Coffee, once my joy, is replaced by water. You just can’t live any healthier than this, can you?

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