Mar 26, 2018

Life This Week 26/3/2018: Story of My First Name.

Do you have a Starbucks name?  Something that's not your real name because no matter what that is, it's going to get misspelled as attempts are made to hear you say your name repeatedly over the sound of the espresso machine and background chatter of a Starbucks at any given hour of the day.  Bonus points if it's also something that you'll remember when it gets called out a few minutes later and you're stuck in the zone people watching or scrolling on your phone.

The origins of my Starbucks Name can be traced back to November 8 2014 when I wrote this:

If there's one thing that consistently gets lost in translation between the Australian and American accents, it's the way we each say 'e'.  On face value, this might not seem like much of an issue, but matters come to a head very quickly when you're in the line at a Starbucks in North America and the final stumbling block in your placing an order isn't that you want a grande fat free, super skinny decaf piccolo latte with a shot of sugar free hazelnut syrup (I made that up, you didn't think I'd seriously have that as my regular order at Starbucks, did you?  Then again.... ) but rather what to write for your name on the side of your cup?

I have quite a few 'eee's in my first name and when they come after an 'egh-l', you can tell that I was put in the Starbucks line to create disruption to the ordering process.  My name has been spelt 'La' and 'Laa' and it was only a matter of time that I was going to get myself a triple A 'Laaa'.  Which is why my Starbucks name came into being.

If I do say so myself, Lala is the perfect Starbucks name.  Four letter total, two repeated and legible in even the most messy scrawl.  As I'm usually on holiday when ordering at Starbucks, Lala also gives off that perfect vacation vibe.  Lalas embrace holiday hair, a messy bun at the nape of the neck with a pair of sunglasses perched high on their brows in lieu of a headband.  They wear Birkenstocks with everything and they always seem to have two more shopping bags than they can safely carry down the street.

Since then, Lala and I have had many memorable food and beverage ordering moments in the US.  What's more, many of them have occurred at outlets beyond the Starbucks chain.

When I went to Shake Shack in New York.  I'm still just a bit jealous of my host's name, Imani.  

I just like the way Lala got written on this Starbucks order.  Bubbly, a bit sassy and larger than life.

When I was Lala in LA waiting for my Dry Bar appointment.

When I was in New Orleans and getting an Iceburger for dinner one night from MOOYAH.  An Iceburger is basically a regular burger served in a lettuce 'bun' rather than a bread based one.  It was amazing and I am still searching for a place in Sydney that serves something similar.

I wonder what adventures I'll have next with my Starbucks name.


  1. Lala reminds me of one of the Teletubbies... LOL. Why don't they just give customers a number to avoid confusion? An ice burger sounds awesome. x

  2. I don't have a particular name, although my sister used to have fun at boost giving a different name each time before they brought out those loyalty cards. Mayne times she'd go 'wait what name did I give again?!' as they called out the orders, haha! I think the idea of having a dedicated name is a good one. I get so many different spellings of my name, it's interesting to see!

  3. I had to get myself a Starbucks name upon arrival in the US. It's one of those things they make you choose at Customs in LA. I was lucky enough to choose Kate, as the shortened version of my full name. Except apparently every Starbucks employee thinks I'm saying "Kite". I don't know if that's worse than what they'd come up with if I said Katherine.

  4. I love that you have a Starbucks name!

    My daughter is in the habit of giving her pet rabbit's name whenever she orders takeaway.


  5. A fun name that simplifies while you're in the queue. Bring on new adventures!

  6. A burger with a lettuce bun is a salad, not a burger. Just so you know.

  7. Not sure you could get Sue wrong but there is always a first! Have a great week and let us know what your next Starbucks name will be LOL:)

  8. Honestly I am glad you just go with it. Mostly they get Denyse (but of course NOT to spelling). In the US I modified my aussie accent to at least sound like someone the lovely US people could understand.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 13/52. Next week's optional prompt is "Food I dislike". Do Join in! Denyse x

  9. We call my cousin, Lauren, LaLa, because her name has been misspelled by so many! My name also gets misspelled a lot. Some spell it with the traditional "Y" or get brave and spell it with a "EY." I have been lucky a few times and some sweet soul will ask me the way I spell it.


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