Java Palava – a story of O


I embarrassed myself yesterday, but I didn’t realise till I got home so I’m not sure if that counts. It’s like that “if a tree falls in a forest and there’s nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound?” thing. If you don’t know you’ve just done something stupid, does embarrassment exist?

Anyhoo, it was all the cawfee’s fault. That’s coffee with a New York accent, not that I’m from New York or have ever spent any significant amount of time there, I just like New Yaaaawk accents. Sorry. I don’t get it, cawfee I mean. I don’t drink it, don’t eat food stuffs flavoured with it, don’t crave it first thing in the morning. I’ve never liked it, tea either, and if that didn’t put me immediately into the weirdo basket, I’m also from Melbourne. A Melbournian who doesn’t drink coffee? Whaaaaat? Unheard of. Well not really. Now you’ve heard it and just like the tree in the forest, that means it exist right?

Where you should get your coffee whilst in Melbourne, I’m told.

So I went to get the girl whose cat hates me some coffee yesterday and it had been a while since I had done that. I walked the whole block and a half to the cute little local cafe with the very polite, very British looking young workers who always remind me of the kids at school who were so quiet you sometimes forgot they were there, who always had their nose in a book and wouldn’t dream of ever swearing, whose wardrobe when they got to their teens was filled with summer dresses from vintage shops and who now think the definition of daring is sneaking a hip flask into the Paloma Faith concert, when it suddenly occurred to me that this sentence needs a full stop. And also that I couldn’t remember the bloody name of her usual.

My coffee ignorance is all inclusive, not only do I not drink it, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a flat white, an espresso or a skinny cinnamon frappuccino and if you stuck a tube down my throat and force fed me a mouthful, I would have no clue if it was cheap beans, a bad roast, burnt or delicious.

But I knew it was a black something or other and something about a country so by the time I stepped in the doors I thought I had it. I stepped confidently up to the well mannered British girl in her summery floral dress standing behind the till and asked for a black American to take away. She then blinked very slowly at me, and it was only later that I realised I’d left off one very important little letter from that drink order and her slow motion blink was most probably her trying to keep her face straight and not laugh in mine.

She’s way too nice, she needs to conjure up her inner smart-arse I say. I could help her with that, sort of a cultural exchange thing. If I worked there I would have rustled up a nice big picture of Obama and slid it over to me with a wink and an obnoxious tilt of the head but she just blinked again and softly asked me, without a hint of sarcasm or stressing of my all important missing letter mind you,  “Would you like any sugar with your Americano?”

What a coffee sometimes looks like, I’m told.

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