Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hot Emergen-C

For breakfast on my first morning in the village my host mother served me half of a heavily buttered baguette and a mug of hot, milky, vaguely coffee-flavored sugar. I generally prefer my coffee without powdered milk and twelve teaspoons of sugar, but unnecessary politeness compelled me to drink it anyway. I'd brought a zillion little packets of Starbucks Via (the Cadillac of single-serving instant coffee powders) so the next morning all I really needed was a some hot water, but I didn't really know how to go about saying I wanted to make my own breakfast without offending anyone. I really could have just said that I wanted to boil water and they would have showed me how to use the stove, but instead I explained that "I am not habituated to drinking some milk and so that it does me some pain of the stomach so could I just have some hot water, please?" My host mom said "Oh, for tea?" and I said "Sure!" and then realized that I'd left my tea at the Training Center, along with my belt, phone book, and cell phone charger.

I felt weird bringing out my instant coffee when she'd just gone out of her way to make me tea water, so I poured a Raspberry Emergen-C into my cup and pretended it was Wildberry Zinger.

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