A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

“don’t be so German”: dairy issues in Frankfurt

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 13, 2007

This week I shall be writing from Salzburg, where I have come for a three-day conference.

Getting from Beirut to Salzburg is much like getting from, say, Des Moines to Albany. There are no direct flights. Hence my travels this morning began with the 3:25 am Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt.

We arrived to Frankfurt at 6:25, leaving just over an hour and a half until the Salzburg flight. Naturally, I was desperate for tea. While G caught up on the night’s sms traffic, I scouted out the nearby Haagen-Dazs.

Full line of coffee drinks? yes.

“Assorted teas” offered? yes.

Excellent, I thought. I can’t wait for a cup of tea.

As an Iowan, I should know better than to count my beverage chickens before they’ve been hatched.

My conversation with the barista went as follows:

me: I’d like a regular coffee, an Americano, with milk [for G, who tolerates but does not share my tea habit].

HDb: I’m sorry. We do not serve coffee with milk. The Americano is only available black.

me: What? It doesn’t need to be steamed – just an Americano with milk.

HDb: I’m sorry, it does not come that way. The American coffee only comes black. If you want a coffee with milk, you must order a caffe latte.

I was torn between the desire to point out to her that as an American of many years’ standing I could guarantee that American coffees were indeed drunk with milk, and my desire to get the drinks ordered and move on.

Fine, I said. I would like a caffe latte. I would also like an English breakfast tea, with milk.

HDb: I’m sorry. We do not serve tea with milk.

me: What?

HDb: You can have tea, or you can have milk. We do not serve tea with milk.

me: But I’m ordering an English breakfast tea. The English always drink their tea with milk.

HDb: I’m sorry, but if you want milk it is a separate drink, for 3,30 Euros.

me: [fuming silently and thinking: what is it with the Germans and dairy products?] No, thank you.

It is now 10 pm in Salzburg, and I have recently finished the day’s first and only cup of tea. This may be a long week … !

2 Responses to ““don’t be so German”: dairy issues in Frankfurt”

  1. Intlxpatr said

    You’re in Salzburg! Wonderful time of the year to be there. What’s the conference?

  2. […] I found time to return to an earlier topic: dairy issues. […]

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