Coffee and a croissant

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It’s been a very mellow trip.  It rained for five days straight, but the monsoon seems to have passed and I think, I hope, I have five days of sun left before I leave.  Last night, Bianca and I went to hear Kazuo Ishiguro as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and even though he was beamed in from who-knows-where, we left so inspired and full of anticipation for what we might make happen in our lives.   Now we’re in a café in arty Redfern, Bianca working on her novel, me on this never-ending blog.  That’s the kind of trip it’s been, lots of coffee, quiet delicious meals, and literary hopefulness.

Though there is a whole new vocabulary I’ve had to learn for Australian coffee culture.  There is no such thing as straight drip coffee.  Plenty of espressos, and cappuccinos, macchiatos, lattes.  But on top of that, Australians order a “flat white,” or a “long black,” sometimes even a “short black.”  I’ve been told that a “long black” is like an americano, a shot of espresso with hot water.  The kindly Australians who are trying to give the poor American her coffee fix usually offer that to me with a little glass of warm milk.  Similarly, a “flat white,” what you see here, is like a cappuccino.  But clearly, both are not actually americanos or cappuccinos, because then that’s what they would be called.

And the croissant pictured here, sold by an Argentine named Alejandra at a placed called Café Bariloche, is neither a French croissant nor an Argentine medialuna.  It’s a little doughy and a little sweet like the croissants I had in Madrid, not totally unlike a medialuna de dulce, but giant-like, Australian-sized.  Still super buttery and totally satisfying.

I have so many of these photos, a cup of coffee and often a pastry, usually a croissant, from all over the world.  Here’s one from Santiago de Compostela, one from Madrid, one from Oaxaca, and of course, tres medialunas y un café cortado en Buenos Aires.  Some of them have blown my mind—the nuttiness of a tarta de Santiago, the cinnamon in a café de olla.  But I don’t think I keep taking these photos to record how different life is wherever I am than at home.  It’s the constancy I love, that desire to drink a cup of coffee and eat a pastry almost anywhere I am.

UPDATE: Has anyone else noticed that the posts WordPress generates for “possibly related posts” includes this: “Obama to Ahmadinejad: Let’s have coffee with croissants and talk”!?!?!  I love it.

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