Notes from the cafe. I carry a journal with me at all times, where I like to jot down thoughts, dreams, and lately, a few cultural observations. Here’s a recent entry from my little book.
Let us eat cake. Or simply coffee. Whichever your prefer, prepare to pause daily in Germany for your midday snack – which is usually coffee and a big ‘ol slice of cake. The afternoon ritual of taking tea in Britian is the German way as well – only with it’s stronger companion – a cuppa java. Cafes are a huge part of German life, which I find no problem with, as I could live on cofee and baked goods if only my rear-end would promise not to expand. You’ll find cafes buzzing from dawn ’til dusk, with the locals chatting it up over delicious sweets, sipping expresso or cappuccino, and smoking their brains out. (ugh. People smoke like crazy here. I hate this. How can a culture so big on health and wellness be tobaccoholics? ) The younger Germans often skip the cake and dine on a cigarette instead, with coffee, which I’m certain contributes to these girls staying so Posh Spice slim.
I enjoy the casual ‘n chic cafe scene here so much, the atmosphere isn’t quite as hurried and lines aren’t nearly as long as the local Starbucks back home. I’ve noticed too that cafes aren’t as hell bent on selling more than a good cup of coffee (vs. mugs, art, CDs and the typical Starbucks lifestyle). Coffee is almost always served in a fine mug or glass with a saucer and a single cookie or chocolate on the side. Many cafes light a tea candle on your table, even during the day. The experience of afternoon cake and coffee here is meaningful. It reminds me of the importance of pausing during the day to catch a breathe, refresh the mind, and just do nothing for 30 minutes or so. Or in my case, take notes and snap photos. But still.
Thoughts on Dogs.
Dogs have it made here. Fifi and Fido can join you in most cafes and restaurants, on the subway, even department stores and hair salons have no problem with your pooch. Recently at the zoo, I noticed that your furry companion (not your husband, your dog!) can accompany you into the zoo for the price of a “doggie” admission ticket. How cute! American dogs would totally love it here. Back in the states, we can dress them up but we certainly can’t take them out (except the local park). Puppy love in Germany! Two barks and a tail shake to that!
Now onto design…
(image by holly becker for decor8 – hannover town hall cafe)