Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coffee Talk

This past weekend there was an article in the Wall Street Journal, which discusses the decline of coffee house culture. Cafes no longer are sites of intellectual and political debate, but rather are quiet spaces in which people type away on their own laptops rather then engage in salon-like dialogue.

The article got me thinking back to the four-week honeymoon that my husband and I took to France and Italy. Definitely one of the best months of our life, however for different reasons then we thought it would be. I am an art buff and could spend years wandering museums so naturally I thought that the cultural experiences of our trip would be some of the my most favorite. I also love cooking, eating and trying new foods - especially French and Italian delicacies. However, food was not the most significant highlight of our journey.

The hours we spent sitting, reading, talking and playing Scrabble in French and Italian cafes proved to be the best experiences for both of us. Not only was the coffee the best we had ever tasted, but the ambiance was nothing like an American Starbucks. Many people lingered over a cappuccino for hours, and rather than sitting with laptops, they read and more importantly, they discussed with their coffee dates. Seeming to have no where more important to be, it was clear to us from our time in coffeehouses, that Europeans enjoy leisure time and we as Americans/Canadians could learn from that.

Take some time this Thanksgiving to discuss an important issue with a friend or family member over a cup of tea or coffee. Differences of opinion are long as both parties are talking!

I will be taking a few day hiatus over the holiday weekend to contemplate all that I am grateful for and I will be back with a new post on Monday:-)

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