Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Complaining about the coffee in remote destinations

Whether you're in Coober Pedy, Tibet, Broken Hill or Bolivia, you will likely encounter a white Melburnian complaining about the coffee at a local cafe. Many claim to travel to experience foreign cultures but when the culture in question does not include expertise in espresso coffee (with Bonsoy) there will be outrage and contempt. Unwilling to accept cultural diversity when it comes to coffee, Melbourne white people want everywhere to be just like De Clieu. They refuse to imagine an alternative to drinking tiny portions of espresso coffee overwhelmed by warm milk and sugar out of disposable paper cups.

To white Melburnians, a lack of espresso coffee (with Bonsoy) remains the preferred indicator of a nation's poverty. Anything else, such as no clean water, high infant mortality rates, minimal public infrastructure spending, mass unemployment and political oppression will be accepted as givens (even exotic) and consumed as part of a search for difference. Melbourne white people will even expect coffee growing nations - some of the poorest countries on Earth, to have excellent (Italian) espresso coffee. It's sort of like expecting the nation of Ghana to be the world's main consumer of gourmet chocolate, when many Ghanians don't even get a full meal a day. But white Melburnians aren't the only ones who confuse the geographies of production with those of consumption, so why single them out? Because white Melburnians see coffee as necessary for life when in fact it's a luxury item. And because many of them are studying international development degrees.

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