Thursday 27 September 2012

Working in Montréal today --Celebrate International Coffee Day!

Good morning folks,

I shall be working in Montréal today.

'shall'?  Yes, Georges and I have been working on some T&Cs lately so my mind is quite in tune with the subtleties of grammar and the precise message conveyed therein.  You hip?

I chose the wrong line at security today at Pearson, initially I was heading for the lower security but it was terrible full so I ran up the stairs to the main departure level and was met with similar sized and intensity lines.  I chose quickly.  Damn.

The line I chose had the lowest number of individuals outside of the wall, but inside..  the dreaded family of four.  Not near as much fun as China's Gang of Four (1966-76, too obscure?), but just as much a security problem.

'Oh come on!'. Who in today's age of heightened airport security doesn't know that you can't bring 10 bottles of water with you through security, or 3 toy guns and a Happy Fun Ball?  Strange..  each had a significant amount of assorted change in their pocket --these may have been the Coin-Op Laundry Bandits!  Have rodeo-hero belt buckles come back into vogue?  The absurdity rose to absolute heights when it was revealed that all four members, mom, dad and the two kids all had piercings, ranging from the typical ear-rings to the atypical nipple rings, belly, nose, lip, and I am only theorizing....  the dreaded scroti-orno-ments!

Bleeweep!  The handheld wand yelled out to its raised eyebrow female holder...  'Need a male screener!' she called out.  'They don't come out' the dad-traveller volunteered, 'WASN'T ASKING!', she blurted back.  My right eye developed a bit of a nervous twitch.

Finally made it through, and raced off to my gate.  Now we sit here just 75 meters or so from gate 22 with a small computer glitch, we'll know in just a short number of minutes if it is cleared.

Which brings me to today's intended topic.   This Saturday is International Coffee Day!


Hey, bet you didn't know that prior to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) the Arabia was in the coffee racket? Yep, the Arabs even imposed strict bans on the export of fertile coffee beans.

Long before Juan Valdez carried on his illicit love affair with his mule, Conchita, coffee was being grown in Africa originating in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa and then it was cultivated in Yemen and exported through the port of Mocha, with the aforementioned ban on fertile beans.

And then came the Dutch.  They brought beans back to the Netherlands in the early 1600s where they were grown in greenhouses and then it was also the Dutch that brought coffee to South and Central America in the early 1700s. It was there in Columbia working tirelessly for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia that that lonely Cafetero Juan met the lovely Conchita under a harvest moon.  It was love at first bray.

The man on the radio had alerted me to notable event of this Saturday and went on to list the set of occupations that drink the most coffee..

By memory..  Scientists, salesmen, business people , food service workers, people that work with the public, people that work with children, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, farmers, ranchers, and stay at home moms and mechanics.  Oh yeah, poets and the clergy.

I think the only group according to his list that aren't drinking coffee were oceanographers.  Odd bunch, those oceanographers.

Have a good day, have a coffee :)


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