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viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2009

Carajillo español

"Carajillo"= coffee with brandy, explosive mixture to have at a cafeteria in the mid-morning break (trad.) [Pereulok's Academy Dictionary of Spanish language]

This morning, while I was having breakfast, I noticed a peculiar commercial: Spanish assotiation of alcoholic drinks promoting a reasonable consumption of alcoholic drinks in this merry period we are about to begin, not to get drank but to keep on the "typical Spanish" way of being happy, sociable, amiable...Publicity on alcohol and tabacco is now so heavily banned that campaigns are surrealistt; this commercial sounds exactly like a "no drink, no traffic accidents" one, I would have mixed the message, had not been listening with attention.

But three hours later I really began to see their point. I was killing time before a meeting, having a coffee at a "Café & Té". One of those chains of cafeteria there's everywhere now, regardless the thousands of common cafeterias this country has, "cafés de barrio", "cafés de viejo" (neighbourhood ones, old ones). One of those chains I usually avoid if I can, out of principles and nonsense (specially Starbucks, the worst coffee in a totally faked supposedly cosy envirnoment), out of small pocket reasons (1,60 euro for a plain, no magic, coffee with milk? Did they think we're in Russia, or what?).

One of those chains that are decorated the same in Madrid's Gran Vía Avenue and Bilbao's Gran Vía Avenue, in Spain, Italy, London, Germany, Tokio and Timbuktu. But then I noticed a shelf just above the coffee machine: a metallic shelf with a bottle of Bayleys, another of Gin, three brands of Rum, two of Whiskey, two other vodka ones... And the Soberano Brandy one, of course!

Ten, twelve half-empty bottles, waiting for the morning carajillos, the early evening drinks of people beginning partying right after coffeeing... and, most probably, the early morning drinks of the groups of crazy ones that end up their party night at 7am, 8 am, and have an alcoholic breakfast before going to bed at the only place that is open at that early hour... The serious cafeteria working during daylight.

Would a fancy "give me a capuccino with a special topping for 5 euros" coffee shop abroad also have that impressive row of alcoholic drinks so clearly display? I'm not so sure. But hey, yep, probably that commercial was right, Spain is Spain... and business is business.

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