03 October 2006

Cultural Commentary

I was looking at my pathetic financial state and realizing that I have to cut my expenses. I already lead a pretty simple life, but if I am going to spend $400 a week on veterinarian bills, something has got to go.

My one fairly expensive indulgence is coffee - I buy the $14 a pound beans and drink lots of it. I figure my doctor is always telling me to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Coffee is mostly water, right? So 64 oz of coffee should be perfectly healthy.

I wracked my brain for a cheaper caffeine delivery solution and remembered that I survived in Mexico on Nescafe Clasico and it wasn't awful like so much instant coffee in the U.S. is. In some places Nescafe Clasico might be hard to find, but not in California (Unofficial State Motto: Mexico primero y siempre! (It was Mexico first, and it always will be.) I went over to La Central Market and picked up a jar.

The English instructions say: place one rounded teaspoon of Nescafe Clasico in a cup. Add hot water or milk and enjoy.

But in Spanish they say: Ponga Nescafe Clasico a su gusta en una taza, agregue agua hervida o leche caliente y disfrutelo. (Put Nescafe Clasico as you like it in a cup, add boiling water or hot milk and enjoy.

A subtle difference, but enough to make me wonder why they didn't translate it exactly. Is it that Anglos like clearer instructions, or that Latinos don't like to be told how to do things? I need to know. I guess that makes me an Anglo, que no?

It still tastes pretty good.


Suzanne said...

I think it is because you cannot trust Anglos. Basically, if someone put too much or too little coffee in the cop, they might sue Nestle for causing hem to have a tasteless or overly tasty cup of coffee. I think that's the sad state of affairs that we have come tto here in Estados Unidos.

reportero_ said...

I'm not a fan of instant coffee - and I've been living in Mexico for more than two years. Starbucks moved in recently, but it's a fresa hot spot - somewhere in the posh neighborhoods to be seen and to show off as opposed to a place to buy an okay and very expensive cup of coffee. (Virtually nowhere else by my old office was open in the morning ...)

As for the instructions: I think the Spanish language lends itself to politeness more than English. Thus, it doesn't always translate the same.

gandhi rules said...

Ask my dad. I think it's that we are more anal.

MrsFortune said...

Haha, that's very funny! I would be confused with the "as you like it" instruction, honestly. I'd be like, um ... what? So, do I use two cups or a half a teaspoon? I guess I'm very anglo.

Personally - Dunkin Donuts coffee is my all time favorite.

spotted elephant said...

I'm still impressed that you're bilingual and so could tell there was a difference!

(Shhhh! Don't tell anyone, but I don't drink coffee. I like it, but need to avoid the caffeine. I know there's decaf, but what's the point?)

Elizabeth said...

I liked your blog about Mexico! I wish I'd had a blog when I spent five weeks in London. There's so much I've forgotten.

gingajoy said...

the brits like their instant coffee too. have you *tried* one teaspoon? BLEGH! the mexicans clearly are cognizant of this;)

good luck on the economizing. we're on that track too (daycare bill for 2 kids coming up fast--although i think your vet bill is comparable).

i liked your comments over at the feminist blog exchange--hear hear, sistah!

super des said...

suzanne's right.
Que bueno.

And I'm going to assume you're not going to let the dogs fight every week.

ps - word verification? seevtuse

kat said...

i love reading your blog and totally support you HOWEVER water and coffee are NOT equal.

sorry to be the burden of un-fun, nutritionous news.

SUEB0B said...

Suzanne - I am afraid that you are right.

Reportero - I did not mean to imply that there wasn't good coffee in Mexico, since they have some coffee growing regions down south, only that I had mostly Nescafe at home.

Spotted E - I mostly drink decaf. I like the taste.

Des - no weekly dog fights, but it is always something, ya know?

Elizabeth - it was Mr. Stapler's idea to keep a good Mexico diary. Then I blogged it because I couldn't figure out how to copy it with photos and not cost a ton.

Kat - you are right, of course. coffee is better.

Anonymous said...

Good coffee is a pretty harsh thing to give up.

I would say give up electricity instead... but you can't type your fun blog so that I can read it at work. (Yep--somehow the filters at work are letting it through!) Dont tell!!

How about health insurance?? Who needs that?? (says the mother of twins with a self-employed husband)

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