I feel that I must register this one small complaint against you. You have ruined my life in one significant way:
Apparently, many many people in Europe have a nice cup of espresso in their own homes every day. I discovered that many French people also have nice cups of espresso outside their own homes, à la terrasse de café au soleil. Sometimes more than once per day. They have an expression for what we have here in the US: “jus de chaussettes.”
Here is my complaint, dear Europe (and particularly Switzerland because you are an enabler) : You share your nice cups of espresso that you have multiple times per day with your visitors and with your guests. You pretend like this is a part of your hospitality towards us, when in reality, I think it is a cruel joke. I think you know what will happen as a result of this.
The very first thing we did after getting home was to think to ourselves, “Gee, in France, they would be having an espresso round about now…” and we went to a Ubiquitous Large Coffee Chain thinking, “Well, they have espresso here. I know we usually buy a rather large overly sweetened drink which contains more milk and water than coffee, but who says we have to??” And we ordered an espresso. And as there was no terrasse, we took our little paper cups (no cute little china cups with saucers and adorable spoons, served with a tiny cookie or square of chocolate and accompanied by two cubes of sugar) “to go.” And then, dear Europe, I believe you know what happened next. We sipped this brew, and we discovered why we usually buy that rather large, mostly milk and/or water concoction. Because this little cup did not contain the nice cup of espresso that we found EVERYWHERE in France. It contained a small amount of something extremely bitter and burnt tasting, not remotely resembling anything currently being sipped on any French terrasse.
To finish my complaint against you, I must tell you that I believe you may owe me for for the pain and suffering caused by a minor amount of intestinal distress from that “espresso” and maybe a small percentage of the cost of my new “habit” which I can fortunately feed thanks to the willingness of the Swiss to export these adorable machines to my country. You have obviously planted your agents here in the form of cute red-haired girls at kitchen supply stores whose personal habits you probably support in exchange for their enthusiastic sales skills.
That is all. I just wanted to formally register this complaint in the ether of cyberspace. And now, I must make arrangements to visit a certain “boutique” in Texas. I mean, I need to go see my brother in Dallas.