“GRANDE green tea frappuccino, no whip, six scoops macha, no classic syrup, non fat please…” asked my caffeine-starved cameraman at Starbucks earlier this week.
I literally stood back from the long queue in amazement.
“That’s some order… How do you even remember that?” I asked.
“Easy. It’s what I always have.”
Cue wide-eyed employee beckoning to me to step forward…
“Good morning sir, and what can I get for you…?”
“Wow… um… latte… please?” I mustered, stumbling for words.
That’s all I could muster.
Talk about being upstaged.
The words skipped off my colleague’s tongue like a young over-eager thespian with his first crack at the Broadway stage.
I could never match that. How could I?
I didn’t even know what the hell half his order was.
“I used to live with a Japanese guy who claimed that that was the closest thing to how they actually drink their green tea frappuccinos in Japan,” my colleague explained.
I still felt like I’d lost a rap battle with Eminem in front of a packed audience.
“The only thing I change is the milk,” he said nonchalantly.
“It’s like a thousand calories and I don’t want to drink all of my food for the day in one hit.”
By now my head was bowed and I felt embarrassed picking up my sad little latte from the counter.
You can say what you want about our American allies but you know, you have to appreciate their direct approach.
They know what they want. And if they want it, they’ll ask for it.
No matter how complicated it is.
He told me that he felt sure that to some, it was a “challenge”, and “part of the game” when going to Starbucks or another well-known coffee shop.
To confuse staff?!
“Maybe it’s a status thing?” he pondered.
We English are so reserved. We don’t want, or like, fuss.
That’s why over here in San Diego I start most questions… “Sorry to bother you, would you mind awfully…”
I can’t help it. I seem to turn my Englishness up to ‘11’ when I’m surrounded by Americans.
Personally, I’m non-fuss when it comes to ordering wine at a restaurant too.
I spend 10 minutes looking at the huge list of wines and then – more-often-than-not – ultimately ask for a glass of ‘house white’.
There’s been a lot of comedy moments in recent times in Starbucks coffee shops.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a fairly healthy caffeine addiction.
A little while ago, after ordering my drink the Starbucks staff member asked me for my name.
“Ahhhh…. Tristan,” I said glancing up while looking at my phone.
|Kind of close I guess...|
Earlier on this week we were in another Starbucks in Mission Valley. I ordered a venti caramel macchiato (yes, I was pushing the boat out on this particular day), and waited patiently sat at a table ready for my order to be handed over.
I mustn’t have heard my name being called out but I did, out of the corner of my eye, see my name on the side of a cup which a disheveled-looking woman had picked up and claimed.
It turned out that the woman in question was a tramp, or ‘bum’ as they’re called over here.
As she was walking out she glanced up, saw me looking at her and the aforementioned venti caramel macchiato, and quickly – and very obviously – licked the top of the lid to claim it.
I mean, she properly tongued the thing as I sat, open-mouth, in bewilderment.
I felt like shouting at her, but then spotted her T-shirt which said ‘Lifeguard’.
I became almost stricken with guilt that I might just verbally abuse a former lifesaver or hero.
So I let her have her moment of glory.
The cat got the cream. Bitch.
Another daily fascination over here right now is the imminent arrival of the ‘Royal’ baby.
“She’s hot,” is the reaction from most of my American friends and colleagues when we talk about Kate Middleton, or The Duchess of Cambridge, as she’s known.
Turning on the TV it’s bizarre to see every news crew in the world – or so it seems – camped outside the hospital waiting for news of the patter of tiny future king or queen feet.
CNN and other US networks keep jumping back to ‘live’ coverage of the scene – despite the fact that there is no update at all.
|No 'news' is still 'news' I guess|
|News teams on standby|
While of course Americans have their President, they do LOVE the Royal family and all the pomp and circumstance which goes along with having one.
I think it’s fair to say that many people here don’t really care for the Queen. They do however care for Prince William and Kate, and of course Prince Harry or the ‘rock star Royal’ as he’s known following his naked Las Vegas antics a little while ago.
One things for sure, with all the sleepless nights awaiting William and Kate, they won’t be seen queuing at Starbucks with the threat of their coffee cup being licked.