April 7, 2008

Bold or mild?

Fighting a jet-lagged daze this afternoon and going through stacks of papers as I wait for my luggage to arrive. I made my very tight connection in Paris for a 7:15 am connecting flight -- my bags did not.

Once home, showered and after my first plate of pasta in 12 days (!!!), my husband made the espresso....ahhhhh, another first pleasure of being home. Although I do enjoy a mug of American coffee in the morning when I am in the States, that post-pranzo espresso zing cannot be reproduced anywhere beyond the alps to the same effect.

To compensate,I indulged in a few Starbucks moments during my trip -- notably one while waiting for a mall to open on a very rainy cold morning to pick up Brooks Brother shirts for my brother-in-law.

I carefully studied the menu and found something based on a surprisingly simple concept: coffee and milk. It was called Caffè Misto and consisted of brewed coffee and steamed milk. To accompany such a delight I decided on a multi-grain muffin.

Confident with my uncomplicated choice, I ordered, only to find more choices thrown back at me! Did I want "bold" or "mild" coffee? Did I want the muffin on a plate? Did I want "utensils" with that too?

Choice, choice, choice, everywhere, all the time for every item ordered: type of salad dressing, cooking length for meat, potatoes or rice, cheese on top, it never seemed to end. How exhausting in general but really too much to ask before you have even had a cup of coffee!

a domani from warm and summy Rome,


michelle said...

welcome back! i missed reading your posts. i can definitely relate to your recent posts-for me they represent the good and bad of both worlds, something that i grapple with constantly trying to balance three cultures (ital/amer/asian). with these constant cross-cultural moments, it makes it hard to feel settled down in one place and be able to call it home. look forward to more insights from you!

michelle said...

welcome back! so glad to read your insightful posts again. i can relate to your last two posts. my cross-cultural moments span three continents and it makes for a life much examined. it's hard to feel at home in one place-i guess this is the mentality in the new world of globalization. i look forward to reading more of your posts!

Cynthia Rae said...

I just found your blog and had to say. Not only am I an expat living in Italy, but we share the same last name! Ciao from Emilia Romagna!


Anonymous said...

I don't live in Italy yet, but I have long lamented the excess of choices we have in the States.American shopping is so *hyper-stimulating* Too many unnecessary choices.

Anonymous said...

To anon:
Try living in a country where there are no/little choices for a few years, then let us know how you feel about America's "over abundant" choices. I'll bet all my money you'll have a different take on it after a few years in a place with no/fewer options!