Scene– A Milan apartment, 4 people sit around a dinner table, surrounding them are evidences of a good meal, three are Italian, one is American. Beside them sit their tazzine of freshly brewed coffee. The American drinks quickly, she looks at one of the Italians and asks “May I have another?” Her boyfriend takes one look at her and says “In Italia, non si fa così.”
If I had a dollar for every cultural mistake that I have made abroad I would be very rich. Of all my blunders, this story has stuck with me. Especially after reading this post. In the article, the question of digestion appeared three times and it occurred to me that Americans do not often consider digestion when they prepare a meal. Something as simple as coffee is a question of digestion for Italians and their beverage of choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner vary greatly based on this issue.