Saturday, December 4, 2010

Coffee in a Bag

In SE Asia (and possibly other parts of the world - I just don't know about it), you get your drinks in a bag. If you say "take away" (never "to go"), then they start pouring your drink into a plastic bag with lanyard/boondoggle handles. You can get your soda in a bag with ice, you can get hot coffee in a bag, with a straw, obviously, as well as any other drinks. You may recall this photo from a posting when we first moved here (though the photo is in Bangkok) and I have also posted another photo below. The photo below is of, ice milk tea, ice coffee not-so-sweet, and hot coffee, from left to right. Let's discuss...

Yes - they hang, so in this hot weather, your cold drinks don't get warmer by the touch of your hand. The drink sweat can just drip away and you don't have to bother with the mess. You don't get a cup, so this is definitely cheaper for the vendor. You can conveniently hang your drink on the hook you have on your wall at work or at home.

Wait a minute...I don't have a hook on the wall at home or at work. Where the hell am I supposed to put this down? I have devised a system to hang it from the kitchen faucet (luckily the boondoggle provides grip and it usually doesn't slide), but this has caused an accident or two. Otherwise, I have NO idea where I can put my coffee if I'm not drinking it.

This leads me to think that we are meant to pour these drinks into cups when we get home. Hmmm - the holes on the top of the bag to allow for the boondoggle ties mean that liquid leaks all over and you waste at least 1/5 of your drink. I thought about cutting off the bottom, but then you don't transfer the ice. In addition, the packet holds more than any of our cups, so once we cut it, we would have overflow and no way to stop it (that gravity thing...). solution (which I have not practiced) is to get a bigger cup at home so I can cut the bottom and pour it in (there is definitely no way to pour it from the top without spilling - I have even watched my local friends do it, and they spill everywhere). Better yet, I can just bring my bigger cup to Ben the coffee man and have him (or Rong, his lovely assistant) put the coffee directly in the cup. Until I get the bigger cup, though, I don't want to sacrifice those gorgeous sips of coffee that make my day so wonderful by 1) bringing a smaller cup and only getting the coffee that fits in there or 2) spilling the coffee during the transfer. So...I get the coffee and walk around until I finish it. (The drink sweat drips on Samara's head in the baby bjorn, but she doesn't seem to care. It's probably refreshing.)

There just has to be a better way. I estimate that 1/10 of all of Singapore's coffee and tea is wasted in bag-to-cup transfers over sinks willing to suck up the excess. We could change the economy here if we could just retain that liquid!

In other news, Matt was in Vietnam and Sri Lanka for work this week. We missed him a lot (and he missed Sam a lot), but it was nice to not have to be quiet in the middle of the night! We had a bunch of great conversations in the middle of the night. He had good trips, good meetings, and now he's not traveling for work for a while, which makes me and Sam happy.

I have been stressed about Samara taking a bottle. She must take a bottle when I go back to work, and the lactation consultants say that you really need to start around 6 weeks and consistently give it to her until I go back to work. Otherwise she "forgets" how to take it. We give her a bit of milk from a bottle everyday - and whenever she doesn't take it, I have a mini-freak-out in my head. "Oh no! She won't take a bottle! I will have to quit my job, and she'll cry all day, and everything will be horrible!!!" I need to learn, though, that each time she doesn't take it, it's because she's tired and not hungry. Today I learned that again as she got hungry and she was sitting in her bouncy chair, and I tried to give her the bottle that she wouldn't take earlier. Babies who are fussy about this stuff DEFINITELY won't take a bottle from their mom. She had no problem at all. She sucked it down in no time. She's an eating champion. I need to relax.

I have also received the "all clear" (literally) from the doctor, so I am completely healed/healing and should have no more problems. That is fabulous news, since it's only been nine weeks since the birth...oy.

Off to Western Australia for Samara's first trip!!

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