Without the constraints of work schedules, school hours and appointments, it is always cuppa time. You can drop around to visit anyone at any hour of the day and the kettle is not far off the boil. In the house of an expat, the offer is made for tea or coffee; black, white, sugar? In a local's home, the tea arrives black with a small plantation of cane sugar already added. You smile graciously and wait for the host to announce he or she is about to drink, at which you acknowledge the host and state your intention to sip.
Depending on which expat you call upon, it could be English Breakfast, Earl Grey, organic Genmaicha, Nescafe or thick Indonesian mud posing as coffee. There is the odd plunger and stove top espresso maker around, and our neighbour Linda upped the ante with the first hand operated milk frother. In a sweet demonstration of attachment causing suffering, the "strong hands" of their pembantu broke the frother in the second week and the camp sank into mourning.
Milk is powdered, or UHT for those that can be bothered carrying it in. We ration our precious soy milk from Bali, as I am yet to perfect making a drinkable version from scratch. Soya beans are available in abundance at the market, as it tofu and tempeh, but milk is unheard of, and I can't get anything other than a curdled glue on its way to custard. If anyone has any tips, please send them my way. Until then, it's a green oolong, or black Nerada, pesticide free, hold the cow.