Friday, June 09, 2006

I am an addict

This post is very personal and heartfelt. I've been struggling with an addiction and I feel like I should talk about it. I've fallen off the wagon, so to speak, but I cannot help myself. I am a Mocha Frappachino junkie.

Georgia has a lot of great things going for it. Beautiful mountains, wonderful food, incredible hospitality, an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies. But one of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of a Starbucks or anything remotely comparable to a Starbucks. I'm not a coffee drinker - can't stand the stuff actually - but I was addicted to mocha frappachinos. Frozen chocolatey mocha goodness. Bliss. My addiction started when we moved to DC. There are Starbucks every 5 feet in Virginia and DC. There wasn't a shopping center, mall, or dirt path up there that didn't have a Starbucks barista willing to offer me a fix.

I gave it up cold-turkey when we moved. Had no choice. You can get great coffee here (or so I'm told) but no frozen coffee. In a country where so many Western things have been adopted and copied (we have a mini-fake-dunkin donuts for goodness sakes) you would think that some enterprising person would cash in on the American fascination with double soy latte with a shot of skim blah blah blah. Or in my case, just a plain old Grande Mocha Frap no whip.

When I was getting ready to head back to the states for Kyra's birth, my pregnancy cravings overrode my logic and I spent one afternoon surfing the websites for the various airports where Blaine and I would be having layovers. I was mapping the locations of food shops, restaurants and, of course, Starbucks in each airport relative to our arrival and departure gates. I was a woman on the edge. I needed my fix. Like a junkie, I made my way to Starbucks in Heathrow airport and fed my addiction. I even went Venti because it had been so long. Blaine got a Vanilla Bean Frap (no caffeine for the 3 year old before international flights thankyouverymuch) and we blissfully drank our frozen concoctions before take-off.

But now we are back. And in the 4 months that I was gone, sadly no Starbucks or generic equivalent has popped up here in Tbilisi. I mourned the loss of my Frappachinos. I don't need one every day (truthfully I don't need one at all, but that is beside the point) but once a week? I would love to have one. I found these little packets of "IceCaffe" at the supermarket here. It's powdered mix and I was putting it in the blender with ice and milk and a heavy dose of chocolate syrup but it just wasn't the same. I equated it to giving methadone to a heroin junkie. It's close, but not the same "ahhhhhh". And then, thanks to a bake sale, my Mocha Fraps were given back to me.

Let me explain. We have many bake sales here. Fundraisers for various charities, committees etc. This particular bake sale was to help raise money for the playground that we are building for the kiddies. I donated a tasty lemon pound cake (really, it's divine) and I went to help out hawking the goodies for sale. The "gimmick" for this bake sale, because we have so many that people tend to get a bit bored with them, was the mocha frappachinos. Now, I figured someone had figured out my trick of doctoring the "IceCaffe" packets, but to my wonder and delight these were REAL mocha fraps. REAL. Like Starbucks real. How I marveled at the first sip. Oh, joy. Hallelujah! I was alive again! One of the bake sale participants, Amy (oh, how I love thee) had donated the mocha frappachino mix. I begged her for her secret. Where did she get this stuff? How can I get some for my very own? I.Must.Have.Some.

Amy must have thought I was crazy. But, c'mon, you are dealing with an addiction. There is no logic with addiction. She kindly explained that this lovely mix, called Frappe Freeze , was available on the internet. I rushed home and with shaking, caffeinated hands, whipped out my laptop and credit card and purchased my very own 4.5 pound tub of the mocha Frappe Freeze. And it arrived yesterday. I'm drinking one right now. I'm an addict. And I'm ok with that.

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