Culture Shock

Coffee Culture

From the moment my parents deemed me old enough to consume caffeine I have been a die-hard coffee drinker. At minimum I’ll have two bowl-like mugs in the morning followed by another cup or so in the afternoon. I do enjoy a sultry espresso after a good meal and also paired with anything sweet.

Once, my doctor brought up my habit during a check up and suggested I cut back. Never one to back down from a challenge and eager to prove addiction’s icy grip didn’t hold me I gave up the endearing elixir cold turkey. It only took about a week before friends and family were begging me to take it up again…

Last fall my friend invited me to a soft-opening for her friend’s hotel. Never one to turn down a free night in luxury (a.k.a. air con and hot water) a group of us jumped at the chance. The next morning I padded downstairs for the free breakfast buffet, anxious to see what kinds of wonderful treats were awaiting. Momentarily forgetting I was supposed to be vegan for another few weeks (never make food bets with friends…) I piled my plate high with buttered toast, bacon, and noodles because you can’t have breakfast in Cambodia without a few noodles. I poured myself a cup of the steaming brown liquid percolating in the coffee pot and found an empty seat to enjoy the best meal of the day: any one that is free. Taking a deep breath I smiled, This is the life, and took a long sip.

It was tea.

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