Monday, January 31, 2011

Il bar regolare (The Coffee Shop Regular)

"One large hot caramel flavored coffee please," I say to the man dressed in the corporate Dunkin Donuts uniform. After two weeks, in the lower Manhattan shop, he is saying my order to me as I step to the front of the line. Two weeks later, he has it made before either of us can say anything.


In Italy, I have become a regular in so many places that I cannot help but laugh.

At the Museum of Cappuccino, I get, "Hey, you were the one in the Santa hat with the camera!"

Sant'Eustachio? They don't even ask if I want sugar anymore--they just know I don't.

Caffe below my apartment? The cappuccino is in my hands before I have time to take off my backpack.

The Bulldog? They just know what to do as I take my seat in the back room.

When it comes to cappuccino in Italy, I am a firm believer in polygamy, and I am happy to see that the baristi don't seem to mind if I miss a day at their shop, because they know, OF COURSE, they know, I will be back.

That is...until tomorrow when I will no longer be a regular and I will become the daughter of the divorced wife that they never see again.

Tomorrow, I return to America. Tomorrow, I will return to corporate oversized coffee in a styrofoam cup. Tomorrow, the cappuccino journey will end as a 10 hour flight begins. Tomorrow, I take my final cappuccino. But what would the end mean--if I didn't look back.

Here's a video for your viewing pleasure.

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