Yesterday I had a small encounter with an order of one coffee at my Riyadh hotel, this time AlFaisaliyyah. I called room service and asked
for a cup of Nescafe’. When the waiter came a while later, on the tray he had the coffee powder in a small open pot. I noticed the ‘blond’ color,
and told him this must be Nescafe’ Gold! He confirmed. So I told him I only drink the normal Red Mug Nescafe’. He apologized saying that the
Hotel only serves this type.
So I called reception and explained, using an argument that I had used Before in similar cases, saying that the Hotel cannot serve a ‘variety’ of
a drink, and not serve the main regular type. You can have Nescafe’ gold for those who might like it, but you cannot not have Nescafe’ proper first.
Similarly if a guest asks for a cup of tea, you cannot serve him green tea or even the admired Earl Grey, and not have the basic known TEA! The
receptionist (an Egyptian gentleman) sounded very impressed by the power of my logic, and promised not to rest until my wish is fulfilled.
So the story begins…
Around ten minutes later a waiter (also Egyptian) came with a big tray, and he said he is also here to help me access the internet! I looked at the
coffee pot and it was the same variety. So I remarked that this was the same. So he asked me to explain more. I did. He went and returned after
a while with coffee in a cup, saying this must be it! I looked at the cup and told him my friend this is not Nescafe’, it is evidently a good
double expresso! He looked puzzled and repentant. So I said: “khalas, I will take it”. But story not ended.
Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door. So I opened and there was an African waiter (sub-saharan) or two, carrying two jars of Nescafe’
and both Gold! I never knew there were two varieties of Nescafe’ GOLD! One had a red mug on the cover! I took that jar and looked at the coffee
particles and they looked blond too. So I explained that I am not sure, but regardless, what I am asking for is the most common known Nescafe’.
The best thing to do is go to a grocery, any small one in any side ally, stand in front of grocer and ask for Nescafe’. The grocer will bring it from the
shelf behind him closed eyed. It will be what I want.
The waiter, politely shook his head and went away, returning after a similar interval of time. He held in his hand the smallest
Nescafe’ jar, with a Red Mug on the label! But I immediately noticed the red cover which made me suspicious, as usually Nescafe’ covers
are black or blackish brown.. I took the jar and on the label there the known ‘decaf’! Smilingly I said that we are getting very close, and
explained that this was it, only decaffeinated. Nonetheless asserting that the best thing to do is either to forget the whole matter, or use
the ‘grocery’ solution. The waiter graciously shook his head and left.
All this time I had left my room door unlocked. Half an hour later there was the familiar knock and VOILA! On the tray a white cup and a jar
of..Nescafe’. by then it was quite late in the evening by now. But still I sat down and had my cup.