From a book review in Der Standard, (translation mine):
“Look I am a Foreigner” – with this phrase, Fritz Morgenthaler, one of the founders of ethno-psychoanalysis, was able to get some special consideration after trying in vain for days to order coffee with milk, no sugar, in a New York restaurant. This phrase not only got him unsweetened coffee, but also brought him interesting encounters with foreigners in countless situations.
Um, where in America can you not order coffee your way? Outside of places like Starbucks, which in my opinion serves coffee-laced dessert drinks, not coffee, you get a cup of black coffee and some creamer containers, and there’s sugar on the table (or over in the self-service desk where you get napkins and stirrers too.)
I bring this up just because the snap judgements work both ways, and it’s good to see what those tourists are concluding. Of course, Morgenthaler probably isn’t saying that one only gets sweetened coffee in America, but a lot of readers will jump to this conclusion. Like the guy that told me that coffee only, only comes in styrofoam cups in America, in every restaurant, ever!
This is why some travel literature bugs me — specifically the kind that makes amusement out of how different “they” are from “us”. If I had a nickel for every person who told me that all the German trains run on time, or Austrians are all xenophobic, I’d have… well, an awful lot of nickels.