No, not ex-presso. Yes, I'm one of those.

There is a whole chunk of my life in Germany that is missing from this blog. I'll try to recount some of the stories, but it's not all Black Forest cake and beerfests, let me tell you. Immigrating to a new country is hard and it has made me appreciate what my parents went through when they came to the States. Can you imagine?! Motherfuckers didn't have Google Translate back then! They had to fake it till they made it!

Mama Kim remembers the first time she went to a cafe by herself. She only had a couple dollars and wanted to buy a coffee but she was shy and afraid of making a mistake. So she studied the menu for a while and practiced her lines before calling the waiter over. 

She pointed to the thing that she wanted, the thing for $1. She pointed because she was embarassed, because she didn’t trust herself or the waiter. She pointed because a lot of things can go wrong when people talk to each other.

She waited, proud of herself for taking charge of her life. She didn't need Papa Kim to order her no damn coffee. She'd get her own damn coffee. It's the motherfucking eighties, bitch!

But when the waiter came back with what she would later learn was an espresso, she was crestfallen. "What the fuck is this, coffee for midgets?" she must* have thought. She sat there, fuming, feeling vulnerable, certain that this man had cheated her.

Mama Kim doesn't get into details, but apparently she expressed her disappointment and left without paying. I like to imagine it in slow motion:

Waiter comes over with espresso. Mama Kim looks it over, picks up the cup and throws the red hot coffee in the waiter's face. She clears the table in one fell swoop. Sugars and Sweet'N Lows go flying in all directions. She picks up a napkin dispenser on her way out and rips them all out, throwing a handful into the air. She walks through the cascade of paper napkins and past the gawkers. Just before she's at the door, she turns around and flips the bird to no one in particular. Then she slams the door so hard that the glass front of the cafe SHATTERS into a million shards of reflected light and righteous indignation.

I inherited an espresso machine from a friend who left Germany for sunnier climes and I make myself a nice little espresso every morning before I go to work. Reluctant to betray Mama Kim, I always add hot water to it. Because that, my friends, is what we call Americano.

*I don't actually know what she was thinking. But I am pretty sure that her inner monologue was not PC back then. Today she might have thought, "What the fuck is this, coffee for Donald Trump?"

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