Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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548 words

I was raised on Apple juice. When I was little, I could only have Coke when we were on holidays or went out for dinner. And thus it has always been a ‘special’ drink for me. Even today, I tend to order a Coke with a meal even when I later realise that I actually would have preferred something else. And although I can choose and buy my own drinks today, there’s still no Coke in our household. Mostly because it’s overpriced, unhealthy and heavy (if you go shopping with a back pack on your bike and have well tasting water coming from the tap, buying drinks just becomes very unattractive). And I have to admit, that these days I am not quite as keen on the taste of Coke as I used to be.

And then, there are loads of people drinking Coke Light (‘German’ for Diet Coke) these days. I could never understand that. Sure, I can see the rationale… normal Coke contains enough to sugar to make people seriously fat if they drink more than the occasional glass. So the girls and geeks who want to drink Coke and don’t fancy ending up with an elephantesque look, have a good reason to drink it. Yet, it tastes like ass. That sweetener taste really makes me cringe.

It also appears that Coke Light is much more popular with girls and the guys consider it ‘too girly’ or ‘too gay’ (strangely those ‘arguments’ only seem to go along the line of image rather than considering taste). Which apparently is why they invented ‘Coke zero’ now, a Coke without sugar, packaged in bottles with black labels and caps. Whoohoo! I was told, Coke are running some massive advertising around that here – allegedly among the largest campaigns they’ve had for a while. (And after I was told I started noticing).

I actually tried a bottle of it. And it’s definitely better than Coke Light in that the sweetener taste isn’t as strong. But on the other hand it’s quite lame as it it less sour than proper Coke which makes the taste rather stale and boring. A shame, but probably not surprising as I’m sure that they would be selling well-tasting calorie-free stuff if it were easy to make…

In the course of their marketing the Coke people also set up a little thing were you can sign up with a web site of theirs (which come straight from Flash hell). Not only go you get a free iTMS song for that, but they’re also putting little codes into the caps of their bottles (interestingly those are printed in different styles depending on where you bought the bottle – and stupidly, despite printed in low quality dot-matrix stry, those aren’t just numbers or just letters or free of any of the easily confused characters) and you get another song for four of them. Which is actually quite a significant discount, if you think about it. So I tried that as well… and the best thing was that after two weeks or so, I got an e-mail with a gift voucher for another ten songs as a thank you. That’s quite generous. Now I just have the problem that I don’t know which songs to actually buy with that…

September 11, 2006, 0:01


Comment by d.w.: User icon

I believe Coca-Cola and Pepsi use networks of local bottlers who are largely independent of each other but buy syrup from the “mother” corporation. As a result, you can get regional variations when it comes to things like the printing under the bottle caps.

For health reasons, I’ve pretty much entirely sworn off soft drinks. The “new” generation of sugarless drinks are a lot better than their predecessors, but still not quite the same taste. By far my favorite is Minute Maid Light Lemonade, which despite having only 5 calories, is completely indistinguishable from the sugary stuff. My theory is that since it’s uncarbonated, they’re able to do something which completely shakes the “artificial” taste you get from most of the other diet drinks.

Anyway, the new generation of artificial sweeteners are pretty good. I generally drink my coffee with Splenda (don’t know if they have a German presence) — sucralose. It’s even usable in (some) recipes.

September 11, 2006, 21:48

Comment by wvh: User icon

You could buy Matthew Herbert’s Plat du Jour, an album about the awful things we are putting in our bodies these days, which includes a song “Sugar” made entirely with a can of Coke.


September 11, 2006, 21:59

Comment by ssp: User icon

d.w.: I’m pretty sure that not going for the sugar-water is a good idea, as hard as it may be. On the other hand, I am among the people who tend to eat and drink pretty much everything, so I don’t have any actual experience in exercising such restraint.

Reading about that Sucralose thing on the ‘net is a mixed bag as usual… there seem to be plenty of ads and a number of haters. Apparently it has only been approved in the EU since 2004, so it may not be as widespread around here (yet).

To be honest I’ve never been aware of there being various artificial sweeteners, I just filed it / them as ‘crap’ and didn’t worry any further. But this seems to be big business and I guess I’ll keep my eyes open when reading food packaging to see who’s trying to poison me and how ;)

wvh: nice irony and a fun idea… but in that case buying the album without the DRM crap for £5 on his web site sounds like an even better thing to do.

September 11, 2006, 23:58

Comment by d.w.: User icon

Sven — unfortunately my mom’s family is genetically predisposed to becoming diabetic: we recently reached the magical 100% mark (every adult descendent of my maternal grandmother and grandfather has now been diagnosed — yay) so dealing with artificial sweeteners has become an unfortunate fact of life. Sucralose is by far the best tasting of the lot, at least so far.

September 13, 2006, 15:49

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