For those of you who know me, you know i adore my coffee. I drink all kinds of REAL coffee. I abhor what passes as coffee at many places in Egypt – Nescafe. That, my dear, is not coffee.
For the past 2 years, I have had the great joy and privilege of being treated each work day, upon my arrival at my office, to freshly made Turkish coffee (ahwa) delivered to my desk. This is a treat that I relish, and also about which I felt a great amount of middle-class-guilt. I have learned to get over the guilt, and just enjoy the coffee.
Since the move to New Campus, our labs (and therefore the alcohol burners that made the flame to make the coffee) have been in boxes, in chaotic messes, inaccessible to anyone. I have [sob] been without ahwa in the morning since school began!
*SIDE NOTE – I was so bummed by this, and so used to ahwa every morning (we’d been doing that in Dahab all through August) that I broke down and bought an alcohol burner for our flat! HEHHEH FIRE!
My coffee options on the New Campus have been less than stellar.
- There is Cinnabon – LE17 for a cup of coffee (outrageous!).
- I don’t drink this in the States, I’m certainly not going to drink it here.
- There is Cilantro – LE19 for a cup of coffee (give me an aneurysm!).
- Not only is the coffee stupidly expensive, it is TERRIBLE.
- There is Jared’s Bagels – LE6 for an 8 oz. cup of so-so drip coffee.
- Obviously this is the only reasonable option!
So my options have been determined – even though all of them are decidedly American-style food outlets, and I would really rather have Egyptian-style, seeing as I am in Egypt!
Recently, there has been some problem at Jared’s. When I order my small (8 oz.) drip coffee, I am told, “No small. Only large (12 oz.).”
So I ask, “Hmm, why only large?”
“No small cups.”
At this point, my American brain and my Egyptian training go to war with each other.
- American brain – “That is STUPID, just fill the 12 oz. cup 2/3 full and call it a small.”
- Egyptian training – “OMG, don’t try to explain that to them. It will take 20 minutes, and you will never succeed in making them understand. Just take the damn large coffee!!”
- American brain – “But I don’t WANT a large coffee.”
- Egyptian training – “Then throw out what you don’t want. It is faster and less stressful in the long run. You are only wasting LE1.50 ($0.25)!”
Egyptian training won out. Jared’s has not had small coffees since we got back from Eid. I’m just getting large now – it is so much easier.
We learn to comply with ridiculous situations, because it is easier than trying to fight the battle. Unfortunately each small compliance solidifies the ridiculousness into normalcy.