Letter: Cup of misery

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Having retired back to this country after three decades in Canada, I can sympathise with Katie Thear's vain request for toast with her beans (letter, 30 October).

Before emigrating I experienced the "spam's off, dear", "we've run out of... (your choice here)" and "don't sit there; I've just cleaned the table", together with being presented with milk already in the tea. Frequent visits back served only to confirm that little changes outside the cities, except in the odd enlightened cafe or restaurant where, as is widespread in Canada, it is the customer whose interests are being served, and not the cafe owner's quaint quirks.

There are signs of change in this country, but they are oh so slow in coming. Perhaps next time I visit a local cafe with my ladyfriend for their admittedly delectable coffee and request two cups with the cafetiere, I will not be told that the rule is only one cup per cafetiere since they could not afford patrons to share the coffee! Or was it the washing up of two cups which presented the problem?

DAVID PIGGINS

Bangor, Gwynedd

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