28 January, 2010


About 20 years ago I was in Kenya on holiday, travelling off the beaten track. When you stopped at a roadside cafe for a drink, you found your choice was limited. There were perhaps two different makes of beer (which I thought tasted almost exactly the same) and perhaps six soft drinks, all by Coca Cola - coke, fanta, sprite and so on. What struck me was that the Kenyans I travelled with stuck with one or perhaps two choices. Even though changing your mind and reconsidering the options took no time, they had decided what they liked and generally never changed their minds. Perhaps it was just them or perhaps it's human.

In New York in a deli I remember Tom and I watching as people came in and ordered their sandwiches in breathtaking detail and at breathtaking speed. The entire wall which was at least 12 feet high was covered in options and when it came to our turn, we panicked and pointed randomly at a special. 

I wonder about this when I go into coffee shops here where the options are enormous.

Size, milk type, coffee type, flavouring, extra shots, roast of bean, origin of bean and on and on and on. What I want to know is are there people out there who make a genuine choice each day or does everyone work out once what they like the most and never deviate. Are we being fooled that we have all this choice when really we just have our habitual favourites? And does anyone actually buy gingerbread lattes?

With that I'm off to get a medium double decaf latte to go, please.


Suzanne@ Panteg Alpacas said...

was that skinny , tall or with a shot ??

mountainear said...

I'm loving these 'differences' blogs!

Me? I'd be standing there, mouth open, brain very obviously working overtime, trying to make decisions.

The veg box looked promising - how good not to have cheap and weary roots.

Soilman said...

What I want to know is how the hell they settle on their preference in the first place? If you had one of each of the options every day, it would take about 3 months to try them all... by which time I'd have forgotten what the first few were like.

Hell, it took me 20 years to decide I definitely liked coffee...