I saw an imposter today; a doppelganger if you will. Not my doppelganger; if I had then one of us would be dead, and I’d probably end up in a showdown like the end of Jet Li’s The One.
I can usually be found at the Starbucks near my work. Most of the time I get there around 12:25, but today I was there from just after 12:00; I cooked chimichangas this morning so I didn’t have to eat ersatz garden salad or line up at Maccas for a meal of sadness and side of disappointment.
My order is usually a double espresso, which they pronounce ‘expresso’, and a bottle of Perrier. Sometimes I like to be adventurous and I’ll order a cake. This is what I ordered.
The coffee: First, I always feel swindled when I get served an espresso in a takeout cup. I know it’s the same amount of coffee as if it were in the espresso cup (Paris Baguette tries to skimp on the coffee; Buddy, a triple espresso shouldn’t be same size as a single especially when you charge triple for it) but it just looks so bad that most of the cup is emptiness. That sentence is full of implications.
The other reason is taste. I don’t like tasting the side of the paper cup. When I used to order lattes; I don’t do that any more since 4% of the tiny amount of milk in the latte is FAT; I’d use a stirrer as a straw. Sure there’s the chance someone has touched the stirrer that I am putting in my mouth, but I’d bet on my cooties any day. As a bonus, the tiny porcelain cup is the opposite of overcompensation.
That said, not as bitter as other coffee peddlers. Very little in the way of grounds at the bottom of the cup.
Overcompensation: when masculinity is threatened, men tend to express views or act in ways they think are more masculine (usually supporting violence, homophobia, and others. PDF here)
The “tiramisu”: Those are are ironic quotations so you should already guess that it really wasn’t tiramisu. Two things you need to know about tiramisu: it’s got coffee flavour in it and ideally mascarpone cheese (think cream cheese/ricotta but a little sour). In a perfect world it would actually have coffee liquor; the one I made in Italian class at school certainly did (Yes, I had the best Italian teacher ever. Of course he was Irish. Gay too, but neither is relevant). This “tiramisu” was simply a brown sponge cake with layers of cream.
Thing is, I knew I was going to be disappointed. I always approach these situations with the lowest possible expectations so I prime myself for being pleasantly surprised if my cake doesn’t look and taste like rubber; some Starbucks cakes may as well be renamed ‘Rubber Eclair’ or ‘Plastique Chocolate Mousse Cake. But sometimes my brain betrays me and I go and order something I’ve had before because I think it will be different this time. Yes, this is insanity: repeating the same mistakes but expecting different results.
Still, a little disappointment is necessary. How else can you appreciate all the good things?