humans are mammals, so we have a sucking reflex at birth (infants suck on whatever touches the roof of the mouth), to help with breastfeeding. obviously, we lose the reflex past infancy, but we still have the ability. we can drink things through straws.
and non-mammalian aliens have no such capability.
“I can’t believe you’ve never had bubble tea before,”
“Human-style drinks are rare on my planet, Evelyn,”
“Fair enough. Well, go on, take a sip…what are you doing?”
“Opening the cup?”
“Thats not how you drink it, don’t peel the plastic, here, poke a straw through it,”
“Yeah, but careful, or you’ll spill it. Uhh, nope, you’re good,”
“You drink it?”
“How? The plastic’s still in the way?”
“Do you not have straws on Dagbusvar? Huh, weird. You just kinda..
“So the liquid just goes up the straw? Like, capillary action?”
“No, its uhh, I only learned this in English, wait a bit….You create a partial vacuum in your mouth, drawing liquid in, and then you swallow it normally,”
“Like the air pressure cleaner we have on base,”
“Yeah! But on a smaller scale,”
“Thats weird. Is it common on your planet?”
“I don’t know? Well, I know mammals can do it, and some insects can, but like, their mouthparts are like straws already, and maybe some fish can?”
“I wonder if they have spoons; I want you to try the tapioca. They’re kinda like the the Afakiv eggs you like so much, but like, sweeter.”