Thursday, 25 February 2010

encroaching Turkish ink-like stuff

‘Caffeine was accepted more slowly in Germany and the rest of central Europe (except Vienna) than it had been in the rest of Western Europe. This meant that England and France began to take the caffeine cure about eighty years before their central European neighbors, who continued, during this time, drinking alcohol as heavily as before. At a time when the English, for example, had already started to “dry out”, Germans were largely innocent of temperate alternatives to beer. (Still are-my note) Once the Germans, Hungarians and other East Europeans became converts, coffee and coffee houses became indispensible fixtures of the society and tea and chocolate came into general use across the breadth of the old Hapsburg Empire.’
-from The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug

This place has been in my family for generations, and I’ve never had any problems like I do now. This has always been a Gaststätte (public house). Always had guests late into the night. I could serve my customers until the wee hours, sleep a bit longer than my neighbors, and repeat the procedure the next day. It wasn’t a bad life. Until now, that is.

Until my wife brought this insanity back from Vienna. My father told me about this Turkish drink that’s black like ink. He swore he’d never seen or tasted anything like it. She comes back and insists that we serve it. At first, they only drank it after their mid-day meal, but more and more they’re coming in earlier for it and drinking it later into the evening. This new coffee and these people who drink it make my real, drinking customers uncomfortable, but the wife insists we keep serving it. She has visions of a coffee house, like the ones she saw, and says it’s the only hope we’ll ever have of seeing culture in this place. I don’t care about or even want culture. I just want to sleep a bit longer. This culture is ruining my life.

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