Thursday, 11 December 2008


- “Can I have a coffee with milk, please?”
- “You mean a flat white?”
- “A what? A flat white? I just want a coffee with milk.”
- “Yaya..that’s a flat white.”
- “Oh. So that’s what you call it around here. I thought you were referring to me. Good to know. I learn something new today. Then how do you call a black coffee, without milk or sugar or anything?”
- “That’s a long black.”

I just assume there’s no racist theory behind these names.

- “So you want a cup or a mug?”
- “Euh…what do you mean?”
- “A big coffee or a small coffee?”
- “Oh. A big one please. I’m sorry, I don't come here very often.”
- “No worries, mate.”

One hour later I’m hanging in the air, flying over the outback in a plane filled with Australians. Fat whites, I guess. Many of them drink two or three mini bottles of whiskey. It’s 10 AM in the morning, for god’s sake. The cabin crew asks me what I want to drink. As if I have never known any other word for it, I order…a flat white.

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