I never knew ordering a cup of coffee over the house phone in a hotel would pose a problem to the person at the other end. Two cups of coffee please, I said and added ‘hot’ as an after thought as I liked to have the beverage piping hot. Yes, it arrived after a quarter of an hour. As I poured from the flask into the cup, it looked dark as dark could be and I knew it would be too bitter for my taste. I picked up the phone and most politely said I preferred my coffee light or moderate and requested the coffee to be replaced with a lighter version. ‘Madam, we serve our customers light coffee, since you particularly wanted it ‘dark’, I made it so’ replied the man promptly. How could hot be mistaken for dark, I wondered but was in no mood to argue with the man.
The next morning when I ordered for coffee I took care not to use any prefix lest the mistake ( whose I wonder) was repeated. The coffee arrived and when I undid the cork, the aroma was too strong for my comfort. I asked the waiter to take it back and get me light coffee. The man disappeared with the stuff and before that he said I should ask for ‘decoction and milk separate.’ Thanking him for the advise I headed towards the phone to place the order once again and heard the phone ringing.The caller appeared perplexed and fore stalled me saying the only way to solve the problem of my coffee was to send me decoction and milk separately so that I could mix the way I wished!
Coming to think of it I feel hotels should follow the British system of three in one(tray) –hot milk in a kettle/flask, decoction and sugar in their respective porcelain/ stainless steel containers.
n.meera raghavendra rao