The café – called El Clandestino – next door to my hotel in Córdoba provides a very interesting social service called "café pendiente" (pending, or unpaid, coffee) where you can pay for a coffee that some unknown person who can't afford one will drink at some time in the future. In other words, you pay for a coffee that you don't take, they chalk it up on a board, and the next needy person who asks for one doesn't have to pay, and the café strikes one off the "pending" list.
I like the idea! Could we "rich" Parisians, Dubliners or whatever envisage a similar system?
But then again, I can't shake off this niggling doubt: is my modest contribution really passed on to the person who needs it? The people in the café seemed genuine, but I only met them over two evenings.
What do you think?