I walked into one of those joyless lunchtime buffets so ill-suited to Chinese cuisine. The name of the place was China-Haus, China-Garten, something like that. They had long ranks of bains marie, tepid with cornflour. Another woman came in behind me, rather young with a lot of glossy hair spilling over her parka, and stood there pulling off her gloves. “Do you have coffee?” she asked the waitress. “Not… not really.” “Oh good. I’ll have a latte machiatto. Do you have aloe vera juice?” I started to laugh. The waitress looked over her shoulder at the kitchen, uneasily. “We basically just have normal coffee.” “Oh,” said the coffee loving yoga monster, dismally. She was so bewildered that I sort of fell in love with her humanity.