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Operations, Via Santamaura, 9 – 00192 Roma
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Seconds later the waiter returned with a glass of cold milk, he put it on her table, smiled and walked away.
She stared at the useless glass of cold milk and started to look around in search of the waiter.
She was in no hurry, but she wanted her “Latte”.
She got a waiter’s attention as he walked past her on his way to serve clients at another table.
“My “Latte” please.” She said again.
“Latte” the waiter replied pointing to the glass of cold milk on the table.“Freddo” She almost shouted. “Freddo” repeated the waiter and, knowing almost no English at all, he tried to tell her by gesticulating that he brought her exactly what she asked for: a glass of cold milk!
She couldn’t catch sleep on the plane, she was tired from the trip and consequently a bit nervous plus really couldn’t see why it was so difficult for the waiter to understand what she wanted, after all “Latte” is an Italian word, isn’t it? “No” she said accompanying the word with gestures, “No-cold” pronounced distinctly “No-cold, latte-no-cold, latte HOT!”
In the meantime, Guido was keeping an eye on his Moroccan helper, who had continued to unpack and display the paintings by himself and didn’t look happy about it.
“Earn your pay” Guido thought as he crossed eyes with his helper, but took his time to explain further:
“Of course, when you go to a place like Starbucks, coffee is what you go there for and so they don’t think they have to specify you’ll be served coffee, they just mention what can be added to the coffee. In your case the addition is milk, “latte” in Italian. Why they call it latte and not milk is a mystery to me.
So, you ask for “latte” and they bring you coffee with milk, but in Italy, if you just say “latte” you get milk, because that’s what latte means!
If you want coffee with milk you have to ask for caffellatte”. The lady loved her caffellatte and asked for another one.
Guido loved the lady and asked for more coffee. They kept conversing until the Moroccan helper walked over to their table and told Guido that some clients were asking for him.
Before leaving the table, Guido asked the lady out, but she told him her husband was flying in later that day from Germany where he had spent a few days for his business. “Too bad” Guido said as he was leaving her “Thank you for coffee. Ciao.” He slowly walked toward his clients checking out the tables of the other coffee shops in the meantime, hoping to spot another interesting lady in need of some help with her order…