(Or is it "Starbucks are everywhere"? Starbuckses?)
Zurich is overrun with them, which means that my husband and I will probably be taking up a new Starbucks habit. We didn't before since (for some unknown reason) there were none in Bordeaux. There we had "Columbus Cafe" and "The French Coffee Shop" (pictured here) instead. Even these American-style coffee shops are a recent arrival -- neither was there when we moved to Bordeaux at the end of 2000. And back visiting the family in Minnesota, we used to go to "Caribou Coffee" and "Java Jack's" (just in case you're curious, don't worry, I'm not getting paid for product placement or anything... ;^) ).
For the moment I'm still playing the "ugly American": the first question out of my mouth wherever I go is "Do you speak English?" Actually, as I told people when I was living in France, it's not that big a deal to try to get by on just English -- that's what Europeans themselves typically do when they travel. No one can be expected to learn all of the local languages, so it's easier just to have everyone learn the same second language, that way nobody has to learn more than one. Of course that was easy for me to say when I was beatifically looking down from my superior position as someone who understood what the people around me were saying. If I was smiling smugly to myself then, now the joke's on me. ;^)
At the moment, my system is to try to read all of the signs and guess what they say. Plus, my husband got me an MP3 player and put some recordings on it for learning German. That will be my next project right after I finish my assignment for nonbelieving literati: La Peste (The Plague) by Camus.