One of my favorite parts of Paris is the cafe lifestyle they’ve cultivated. On weekends or afternoons people will meet at a cafe and sit for hours drinking wine or espresso, talking, and just enjoying the city. Even better, all the dining is outside allowing you to enjoy the nice weather and be right in the middle of the action.
Certainly in suburban America, but even in cities, the dining is often inside and closed off. The idea is to make a separate world from the street life outside. And you can’t just sit and chat at a table for hours, you’ll be rushed out after 45 minutes by an impatient server. There’s something so cleansing about the way Parisians take their down time so seriously. I know from experience we work too hard in America and we’d do well to take a cue from their book.
While in Paris I visited several cafes and spent long stretches writing, people watching, and chatting with friends. Not to mention I ate some truly spectacular crepes. It certainly inspired me to focus on my leisure time as much as my work time.
What cultural differences have inspired you in other countries?
Photos by Dan Sanders and myself.