Coffee or Tea?
Yusif stared at the waitress in her striped diner uniform. She had heavily mascaraed lashes, a gold hoop through the side of her nose, and projected the feeling that she really didn’t mean it when she greeted him and his party with ‘Welcome to Denny’s.’
It was his first week in Calgary. He’d qualified for a scholarship for an exchange program between his university in Palestine and the U of C. The city was friendly and the newness thrilling, but he had yet to find something that qualified as Canadian food.
He’d asked his roommate to accompany him to a traditional Canadian meal, and Jim from Edmonton shrugged and said ‘Let’s go to Denny’s.’
Yusif pored over the menu. There were so many foreign sounding things. French fries for breakfast? Macaroni and cheese with ketchup? That sounded like a terrible combination. He settled for pancakes — the kind he’d seen in pictures before — stacks of flat cakes with sticky syrup pouring over the sides and butter melted over the top. The waitress returned with his mountain of flour, milk, sugar, and a shortcut to a diabetic coma on a plate. He excitedly cut into his stack — his first taste of authentic Canadian food!
The fork dripping with syrup hit his tongue and his eyes squeezed shut. He had never eaten so many different kinds of sugar all together before. When the waitress returned with his drink, he’d forgotten if he’d ordered coffee or tea, and when he tasted it he realized that he couldn’t tell which it was anyway.