It wasn’t the food, generic Western Chinese fare mostly, ubiquitous and regretful.
It might have been the coffee, but wasn’t – not the flavour, no, certainly not the kick of it (for there was none), not the stout little cup, a teaspoon clinking pleasantly. And not the service either. Though in truth he valued service not at all, good or poor.
Maybe it came down to the stark pragmatism of these places… qualities maybe he aspired to? Or maybe the heightened awareness he’d feel about them. Details he’d observe more clearly, as if seeing new colours, marveling at their guileless and honest interiors, so indifferent, so detached!
Yet so blissfully removed from taste. Well beyond the pale. Feng shui, he felt, was appalling, and something in him resolutely fought against ideals of any sort.