Home is perfectly a fine place to work if you have a space of your own for that purpose. But by design and function, it’s not a place to work. There are too many distractions in it that prevent you from doing your best – I think.
So, here’s what I do when I need to work outside the official working hours and days of the week: I go to cafes.
I’ve been doing the sort of ritual for quite a while now – working on my books, writing posts for my blogs, or just reading books that I can’t seem to get hold of elsewhere. I know it’s expensive – you might say. But I don’t mind paying as long as I can get productive and can afford it.
There are a number of cafes that I frequent. Near home, there’s this cafe with books (library cafe?) called Kafe Kupu-Kupu. I like this small cafe because it’s close to home (I can be there within 10 minutes’ ride), small (and thus having a homey atmosphere about it), cozily decorated, and has a nice countryside view. But more than that, it has books (I like being surrounded by books and the positive energy they project when it comes to writing) and wi-fi internet connection (important if in the course of writing I need to check things out). The foods and beverages are decent and reasonably priced too.
Further afield, my choices are Ngopi Doeloe or Ngopdoel as it is locally known – a local chain of coffee shop establishment. Unlike the first one, their shops are a bit rowdy as most of the customers are young people who go there to socialize. Loud chatters and laughters and equally over-volumed music – I would say – characterize their places. But – provided the mood is right – I don’t mind with all that. To me, it’s a good place to observe people and what they do. I can still work amid the noise because sometimes I need to feel being among people, not to mention that noise can sometimes also have the effect of boosting the low mood.
The coffees and foods at Ngopdoel are not actually that good, but at least they are reasonably priced (until a short while ago at least) and for the coziness the establishment offers, I don’t mind paying extra if I happen to have the money. Their locations are particularly convenient too and usually within a stone throw from major urban conveniences. My favorite location is the one on Jalan Purnawarman as it is just next door to the largest book store in town, so after book-shopping I can just drop by and read the book(s) I have just bought from the store.
There are a couple of other cafes I like to frequent. Kopi Selasar at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space is absolutely nice – the atmosphere, the coffee, the panorama, and the “artsiness” of the place are just marvelous. I can’t go there every so often though. It’s location in the high northern hills of Dago Pakar area is not anywhere near my well-trodden paths in the city. It’s relatively expensive too – though if you’re looking for a class of your own, it’s probably worth the money spent. I can work here all day long if needed.
The other cafe I visit every now and then in town is Kedai Kopi Mata Angin on Jalan Bengawan. I like it because it’s a homey place – I should probably say, it’s really a home turned into a cafe. It’s small and only has the space of the living room and the front yard for its business. The coffees and foods are decent and reasonably priced, but what I like most about the place is – just like I said – its homey-ness. Coming here is just like visiting a friend’s home. There’s nothing formal or businesslike about this place. As a customer, you’re being served just like a friend here. They even let me work late without ordering more foods and beverages – and, to me, it makes it a perfect place to work undisturbed.
Undoubtedly, there are countless other cafes in this city that can offer goodies and perfect setting for your work-out-of-working-hours need. Just like many urbanites everywhere, I think I will still on the lookout for more of these places – places that I can feel comfortable off the chaotic streets and distraction-ridden and lonely home.
What about you?