After 16 years of traveling here I still haven’t figured it out.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic- “What size would you like?” the lady behind the counter asked in reference to my coffee.
I looked over my options: small, smaller, and miniscule. The miniscule’s handle was its largest part. I had no idea how a grown man could even pick it up.
“How about a normal?” I joked, but then settled for their large:
I paid $2.50 for this.
This is the one thing that I still don’t get about Europe: small coffees. This was one of the first things that struck me about the continent when I first began coming here in 2002, and I figured that I’d eventually work it out — that one day someone would explain to me why people would prefer drinking coffee in teeny tea cups when they could just as easily drink from a standard size mug.
90% of the time when you look at something in another culture and declare it stupid you may as well turn the adjective back upon yourself, as chances are you just don’t understand it yet.
If you give these things enough time, if you ask enough questions you more often than not you come to at least a plausible explanation. But, 16 years later, this has yet to happen with European size coffee cups. Or maybe I just have some sort of small coffee syndrome.