(this is important, please read carefully and share around this TRUE story I just heard from a friend of mine)
Yesterday morning a (probably) north-american traveler made a complete, utterly ridiculous ass of himself in the Fiumicino airport, interrupting service and thus harassing everybody else around who (who would have imagined it) couldn’t risk to lose their plane for a kid’s tantrum.
Why? Simply because he went to one of the bars in the airport, asked “a LATTE” and got just what he had asked for: one glass full of MILK straight out of the fridge and nothing else.
The bartender tried to explain very patiently and politely, several times and in good English, that:
the world is not Starbucks
that this is Italy
that Italian bars have been around for centuries but NEVER had the same menus as Starbucks and are not going to change (side note: what’s the point of traveling if all the world is the same?)
that if in that place “LATTE” always meant one glass of milk etc.. he could not possibly be angry with the staff, and
that the bar had NO equipment/ingredients/whatever to make an exact reply of what Starbucks only calls “LATTE”.
No matter. He kept making a fool of himself, stopping the line for ten minutes before bringing himself to accept that the closest thing he could get in that (or any other!) Italian bar was some coffee poured in that damn glass of milk. Oh, and then he started complaining because he had gotten it in a REAL glass, not a styrofoam one. In all Italian bars, they serve beverages in real glasses, 100% reusable. Not polluting plastic surrogates. That only happens, excepted of course when customers specifically ask for take-away, when the washing machine is broken. And then you see a big sign behind the counter, saying “Please accept our apologies for not giving you real glasses”.