"I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave far behind me." Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Confessions #02: That 4th of July 1994 Cup of Coffee

"Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, 
the first often tasting like the second."
Edward Abbey 
Frank Sinatra - "The Coffee Song"
Yes, yet another confession, with a variety of more in the offing. Confession is good for the soul, they say and the truth will free you! Yesterday it was paperwork, today something totally different to confess. From the title and picture you have already gleaned it has to do with coffee.

The Beatles sang the number “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” from their album of the same name, released in 1967. The first two lines of that number were, “It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play”. Well today I have been contemplating the tune's first two lines with mediocre words of my own, “It was twenty years ago today, that I gave coffee drinking away!” Yes, twenty years ago today. The 4th of July 1994, was my last cup of coffee, two full decades ago.
I am not sure I would class this as a confession, but more of a celebration. I think it has become, at times, only a confession due to the shock value it has, particularly among my coffee addict friends and colleagues, here in Austria. When I first visited to Austria as an adult, prior to my move here, it was huge shock for new friends, that I didn't drink coffee. Afternoon Tea invitations in Austria were usually always for Afternoon Coffee.  The last decade has seen a shift in the beverage drinking culture here, with tea becoming a more popular addition to the afternoon drinks. Most of my friends know, by now, my beverage preferences, when they issue an invitation.

Me? I look on giving up the coffee as a celebration, coupled with a fond remembrance of the wonderful day spent with my Dad. We were still living in Australia at that time. I had just returned home from a trip interstate to visit family. My Father suggested we have a rather long lunch at our favourite restaurant, Rossini, located at Circular Quay in Sydney. I had the day off. We had consumed a couple of bottles of Seaview Brut de Brut, or Bubbly, with our wonderful Octopus salad. We were toasting my return home.

We decided to end lunch with a full strength cup of Espresso. I had just spent two wonderful weeks in Tasmania with family, drinking only tea, not even decaf coffee. That Expresso was a killer, for a decaf drinker. The result was an unhappy tummy and the conviction to give coffee up for life. The lunch and afternoon in good company was still wonderful, despite the ill effects of that last cup of coffee. I miss those wonderful fun loving days with my Dad. Each one of those in itself is worth remembering. maybe this is why giving up coffee, remains such vivid a memory.

Do I miss drinking coffee? Not at all! Neither does my stomach. :) After 20 years without a drink of coffee, I suspect I have still a number of years left to continue to contemplating life without it. I can safely say that after two decades, I can go another 20 years of life without a cup of coffee. Please, feel free to check back with me on 4 July 2034, to confirm that I haven't lapsed.

So while the citizens of the USA celebrate their 4th of July Independence Day, I will celebrate my 4 July Coffee Free Decision Day. A French colleague was so impressed and amused enough by this resolute conviction, that she referred me to the hilarious YouTube video included below. The subject revolves around the extreme effects of over consumption of coffee. You don’t need to understand French to enjoy it. The animation is self explanatory and I luckily found one with subtitles.   I can’t say whether my Italian colleagues are over the shock yet, and they had no such hilarious inclusions to suggest.
Enjoy the music and the videos, specifically chosen for all the coffee addicts out there.

 Le Cafe - Oldelaf
Produced by Ecole des Métiers du Cinéma d'Animation (EMCA)
YouTube Channel - Bombavalusica's channel

Coffee song (The Muppet version)
YouTube Channel - MuppetWiki
"Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?"
Steven Wright

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