Some things simply don’t translate from one language to another very well. It happens all the time, so you find whilst traveling that you take certain descriptions with a grain of salt. And then there are others that sound like errors, but tragically, are not.
Starbucks in Bali has a drink – Triple Coffee Jelly, and it is, in fact, exactly what it sounds like: A lovely frappucino ruined by coffee-flavored gelatinous goop.
I think this is the first time I’ve ever experienced caffeine-induced sadness. I suppose the fact that, upon removal from the blender, I noticed the “jelly” part didn’t look any different should have been an indicator of the trials ahead for my digestive system. But my happy ass ignored that in favor of the deliciously warm espresso brownie that was to accompany my afternoon splurge.
To describe my misconceptions of what I would be experiencing as such seems ill-fitting. I didn’t have misconceptions – I had a damn fantasy of hope and well-wishes. I imagined the jelly to be more akin to ganache: thick, rich, and velvety. I eased my straw into my cup with caution, wanting to take it slow in the event that I was wrong. And oh, was I wrong.
If coffee were a body system, this jelly would be equivalent to massive, hemorrhagic blood clots. It was revolting. I gagged and nearly returned my brownie to my plate in liquid form. I have a strong stomach and adventurous taste buds, but this was another beast altogether. Slimy, coagulated espresso goo balls can safely be crossed off my “willing to endure in the name of Foreign Food Thrills” list forever. *shudders*
I quickly created a “safety line” in my drink, carefully keeping my straw above the seeable jelly-ridden terrain, with a watchful eye for any rogue jelly worms migrating north toward my mouth. Never have I been so vigilant or strategic about a drink. I found that if I was patient enough, the frap would liquidate, making it easier to both avoid and tell the difference between coffee deliciousness and Satan’s goo.
Unfortunately, easier didn’t mean “without incident,” and it wasn’t much further before I gave up altogether, for the sake of my tummy and the consideration of the fellow Starbucks customers, who I’m sure couldn’t figure out why I kept taking jelly globs out of my drink and plopping them onto my plate. I find it hard to believe that even the loving Balinese, who seem so unfazed by virtually every aspect of life, would find this drink enjoyable.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to concentrate on suppressing my gag reflex whilst searching for a good surf watch, as I’m quickly realizing that trying to sit still and not puke is way too difficult.
The lesson here? Create hard limits for your java preferences. Take my word for it: Jelly is a no-no. As in never. Not a maybe, not a perhaps, not even drunk. Just a whole lot of no.