Saturday, July 30, 2011

Travelogue: Australia – Coffee (!!)

"Yes please?" the oriental girl behind the counter; at least that is what I assume she said. It was as near as I could work it out. Her accent, a sort-of pigeon English accented with Australia words made it hard to decipher. Of course it could also be that it was just going six and that I hadn't had a cup of coffee in a while…

"Yes, thank you. A large black coffee with no sugar, please." I have learned to be specific when ordering. Some places it is the norm to add milk, others automatically sweeten it for you.

"What kind?" (I think) was her curt response.

"uh…" Was this a trick question? Did they have different kinds of coffee? I looked to the menu board for some indication of the selections. Since I didn't see coffee there at all, but did see  rather elaborate coffee making apparatus, I assumed that they sold coffee. "Just a large black coffee with nothing in it."

"Yah bu wha kan?" (I took that to mean "yes, but what kind.")

"I'm sorry I don't understand the question. Whatever dark roast you have would be fine."

"Okay, then I decide for you." (That was the only clear thing she said during the entire conversation.)

"I'm sorry? Decide what."

Again, from her heavily broken English I was able to pick the shards of her meaning. "We have cappuccino, café au lait, mocha…"

Frustrated now, I cut her off. "No, look. Those all have stuff in them. I just want a cup of coffee; a tall black coffee. No milk, no cream, no sugar, no chocolate. Just a black coffee, filter coffee, drip coffee, some places they call it an 'Americano' but I just want a coffee, not a milkshake."

"He wants a 'long black'" came a voice from the kitchen. "Right?"

I looked up at the cook who was looking back at me. "Black coffee with nothing in it? If that is what you call a 'Long Black' then that is what I want." He nodded assent.

I turn back to the woman at the counter. "Fha fife" she said and held out her hand.

The coffee wasn't the greatest and it was expensive to-boot, but on a cold morning in a mostly empty airport it was enough to keep me going on to my final destination! You gotta love travel, eh?

Wherever you are today, I hope that your journeys and transactions are all pleasant ones!

Don Bergquist – 30 July 2011 – Sydney International Airport (Domestic Terminal), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Editor's Note: The coffee pictured was not acquired at the Sydney airport but was purchased at a lovely little coffee bar in Dickson (a suburb of Canberra) called Dzire Cafe + Bar.  I have been having coffee and breakfast at this place for most of my stay in Canberra and I highly recommend it!

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