Evolution of an Instant Coffee Addict

7 Jul

I have a confession to make (Expect to read even more of these confessions, I have a guilty conscience OK! I’m not perfect!) I am addicted to those delicious sachets of coffee goodness mixed with instant milk and artificial sweetener! I am a recovering instant coffee addict!

Now after confessing this to you, you’re not going to believe what I have to confess next!….Ready for it?…

I was never much of a coffee drinker!

In fact I hated it despite getting my quals in Café operations in high school (I don’t have to like it too make it!) I tried lots of things to make coffee taste more bearable like adding more milk, adding more sugar, adding other flavours, I even tried coffee without coffee, that was my perfect coffee, a mocha without the coffee!

So how is it that I went from coffee hater to instant coffee lover to an instant coffee addict?

Well somewhere between juggling assignments, exams, work and some standard of actually having a life I discovered an amazing property of coffee, its ability to make me less of a morning monster.  It had the ability to create a more perky, cheery person who pisses off all those other sleepy heads in the morning!

It was quite by accident I discovered this. One morning when I was a few years younger I woke up after a very late night of studying and felt nothing short of death slightly warmed up.  While staring at the uninspiring choice of cereal in the pantry a glimmer a few shelves up caught my eye.  Glowing like a beacon of morning hope stood a tin of instant French coffee with a pretentiously posh (for instant coffee) maroon foil label telling me this was the classy thing to drink.

“Hmmmm, I wonder will this disgusting beverage wake me up?”

At that point I just wanted to have at least enough energy to get me through to lunchtime when I could have a nap in the school library.

“What the hell, I’ll just add a bunch of sugar, down this disgusting thing they call coffee as fast as I can and voila, I might actually wake up!”

And that’s what I did that day and the next day and the next day, and two years down the line you guessed it still making that cup of sugar laden instant coffee in the morning.

Now over time the flavour slowly grew on me, I got more adventurous with my instant coffee choices and started to buy caramel latte, mocha and any other variety of naturally sugary instant coffee.

“Hey, this coffee stuff ain’t too bad at all!”

When I moved to China I didn’t have the luxury of purchasing those great instant coffee brands, fail after fail I tried brand after brand of instant coffee, it took 9 months to find that perfect brand! China morphed me into an instant coffee snob (which I blame on the low quality of China’s instant coffee). If it wasn’t my favourite brand “Super” Cappuccino or Irish Cream” quite frankly it was crap and I’d rather have tea than an inferior brand (I’m sure this makes the supermarket who actually stocks this brand very happy!)

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"Super Coffee" The only instant coffee worth drinking in China!!!

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So there’s the story of how I came to love instant coffee but what about getting addicted?

Well I have one word that answers that “teaching!”

Being an ESL teacher particularly for children requires a lot of energy, which despite appearances, my energy is in fact not at all boundless! Teaching children, who bless them made my day fun also made me tired so by midday after already having one coffee in the morning it was time for a second caffeinated kick!

I made the mistake of once telling my students on a day I was particularly grumpy that…

“Teacher Sasha ran out of coffee today and she gets very grumpy when she hasn’t had her coffee so it would be in your best interests to behave!”

They didn’t quite understand my complicated sentence but they did understand its meaning because every time I was grumpy after that they would ask me “Teacher Sasha have you had your coffee today?”

I became even more addicted to coffee when I started working for an education agency in Shanghai doing both management and teaching.  The job was stressful my boss was a bit of a douche and my office cubicle was very uncomfortable and uninspiring.  Though what it did inspire me to do was up my coffee limit from 2 a day to 3 a day! And sometimes even 4 if I was going to go out late the same night.

But despite my addiction to instant coffee and many other things (watch this space) I don’t like being addicted to things and tend to nip them in the bud as quickly as possible after finally getting out of a place of denial and convincing myself that I do indeed have a problem! Once I quit that highly stressful job in the education agency and just went back to teaching I got my coffee intake back down to 2 a day.  After a while I slowly weaned it down to 1 though occasionally (as I’m now writing) I will have that 1 additional afternoon coffee, just for a treat, you know this blogging business is hard work!

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My favorite and most creative instant coffee concoction…

1x Sachet of Instant Cappuccino

1 x Dash of Almond Milk

A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

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10 Signs You’re a Writerholic

1 Jul

I have a confession to make and you better be prepared because it will shock you!

“Hi, my names Sasha and I’m a writerholic!”

(Ooops not such a shock, I gave it away in the title, my bad!) I’ve been feeling it for a while now, feeling I was getting addicted, feeling an un-healthy dependency on my pen and notebook.  It started off all quite innocently and under control, me a simple blogger carrying around a tiny notebook to jot down random observations while on my travels.  That was it, a few describing sentences here and there. Then just because I started a blog and had a few readers who were expecting to read one of my amazing posts I wrote those jottings up into a more than necessary amount of words and ‘Voila!’ I had become a blogger. Now that was fine until something changed.

I was never much of a journal writer, you know the whole “Today I had a date, OMG that guy was so cute I think I could marry him!” I don’t write that crap! Generally I never would even write about daily life outside of travel, life’s not that interesting! But then something changed, my life changed and suddenly I had so much more to say. However because I already talk a lot (and I really mean a lot!) and no one really wants to listen to even more of my rambling, I had to turn to something else and it’s that thing that turned into a terrible addiction!

There was my notebook, sitting there on my bookshelf, staring up at me, clean, crisp pages ready to have their virginity taken from them.  And so I took that notebooks virginity and pretty soon it was getting some all the time!

I got obsessive, I wanted it all the time, anywhere, any time. I wanted to jot every observations, every thought about life, love, travel, blogging, my favourite bands and that horrid outfit I saw some girl wearing! I realised this had gone beyond a few notes and a few blog posts, this had gone to the extream.  I have become a writerholic, writing had become my vice!

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10 Signs You’re a Writerholic

  1. You have dreams (and nightmares) about writing.
  2. Your wrists ache from overuse…(Get your mind out of the gutter I’m talking about writing you dirty dog!)
  3. You stop confiding in real people and start confiding in your notebook.
  4. You’re excited to find out that your new Android phone has a WordPress app so you can update your blog on the go!
  5. You carry your notebook everywhere and not just carry it but actually use it everywhere.  You even write while walking (and almost crash in to numerous light poles and a fair few innocent people on their morning commute).
  6. You read about writing when you’re not writing.
  7. You keep starting new blogs.
  8. You can’t stop talking about writing and even start talking about it with your non-writer friends who quite frankly don’t give a hoot!
  9. You have a panic attack when you find your pen has run out of ink and you’re nowhere near a stationary store.
  10. You stop getting excited about buying shoes and instead get excited about buying new notebooks.

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Are you a writerholic? If there’s enough of us out there we should start a Writerholics Anonymous (WA) support group!…