I emerged from my pit at the usual time, feeling slightly anxious and irritable. Ill at ease with the world around me. Antsy is the word that best describes my state. This could only mean one thing – diabetic hypoglycaemia. That wonderful state when your blood sugar falls to a level below what is optimum for wellbeing. Left unattended it can kill you. This wasn’t a serious episode however. I had about an hour before I needed to worry.
Seeing as I have military precision when preparing go leave the house in the morning, every second counts, I made the decision to get the tram to my bus-stop rather than to walk. This would save me a few precious minutes and also enable me to eat a chocolate biscuit en route, to recalibrate my sugars.
Normally I would wait until I reached the bus stop before getting a coffee (without a biscuit). I needed faster sustenance today. My sugars depended on it I looked at the board announcing the arrival times of the approaching trams. The next one was in three minutes. This was just enough time to call into the café whose doors I had never darkened up until this point.
The reason I had been boycotting it was down to the name. It calls itself ‘Foodie’ you see.
Even at the best of times when my sugars are balanced I have slight obsessive compulsive tendencies towards the English language. I detest the bastardization of the language – particularly when it comes to catering establishments. For example, if a café describes itself as an eatery then I know that it is the home of Satan and needs to be set upon by an angry mob bearing pitchforks.
The word ‘Foodie’ provokes a similar reaction. It brings to mind people called Tarquin and Sorcha who enjoy yoga, have an imaginary gluten intolerance and who follow a vegetarian diet heavy on the quinoa and kale (until 2am on a Saturday morning when they roll into the kebab shop for a big, greasy doner with garlic sauce, and side order of extra bready pizza.)
Would they describe themselves as ‘Shitty’ when they need to use the facilities? I suspect not. So why ‘Foodie’? It’s one of those words created in an advertising laboratory, designed to appeal to the airhead readers of the Lovin’ Dublin website. People who describe themselves as ‘foodies’ probably think mung-bean casseroles are ‘totes delish.’
But my tram was in three minutes. I needed sugar.
I entered . The Spanish shop assistants (I refuse to call anyone a barista – that’s the equivalent of calling a petrol pump attendant, a ‘fuel injection engineer’) were bouncy and friendly. And clearly no strangers to quinoa infused, fennel twig yoga sandwiches. You could just smell it off them. The menu looked pretty ordinary however- not much different from a standard greasy spoon or sandwich bar.
I asked for a filter coffee. I was told that this does not exist on Foodie’s menu. Well of course it doesn’t. That would be too convenient. Part of Foodie’s charm seems to be waiting for the zen like staff to hand massage each individual coffee bean before transforming it into something called an ‘Americano’. An Americano is an espresso coffee diluted with water. So effectively it’s a filter coffee that takes three times as long to prepare. And with two people ahead of you in the queue and the arrival time of the tram fast approaching, the wait became annoying.
Perhaps the staff were on tranquilisers but their pleasant, sedate pace was not doing any good for my peace of mind. The tram trundled towards me. With seconds to spare my coffee arrived. Of course there were no take-away chocolate biscuits by the till. instead I darted over to the sugar area. This was now essential – the reason I was in this venue in fact. I dumped three sachets into the black beverage and stirred. I looked around for the milk. There was none. I just knew it. This was the type of place who wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to assume milk might be a requirement. If you needed milk then you jolly well needed to ask for it.
I glanced at the beaming shop assistant. She looked as though if I asked for milk she’d tell me that she’d go out back to milk the café cow for this luxury.
My tram was at the stand. I would have to forgo milk.
I dashed out the door and made my tram on time.
I might go back to Foodie to see if it is better when I am in full control of my senses. But if you are a diabetic, having a mild hypo then this is not the place for you..