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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Coffee with ugly

I cannot function without two or three cups of coffee in the morning. And I prefer my first cups with stomach-soothing milk.

This isn't percolated Mr. Coffee I'm talking about. Diluted and brown coffee-like substance. No, the coffee I brew is black, real black, powerful as four Starbuck's dopio dopio or whatever the hell they're called. Drinking this without milk wreaks havoc on my poor stomach ...

Sadly, this morning there was no milk.

So I stumbled out the door to the paki down the alley, but realized when I got there that they don't open until 9. I wandered down to Sant Pere Mes Baix and nothing was open there either, so I entered a café. I asked the camarero for a "Café amb lleig".

He squinted and cocked his head, looking at me like I had a Real Madrid emblem stamped on my forehead. He responded in Spanish, enunciating leche.

Only later, after getting my caffeine fix, did I realize I had mixed up Spanish and Catalan, inadvertently ordering a "Coffee with ugly".

Actually, I made up a new word … somewhat. You see, leche means milk in Spanish, and llet means milk in Catalan. The combination of the two – which sounds like "yech"- unfortunately means ugly in Catalan.

Lleig, that is.

I may have started a Cat-ellano revolution.