"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted."
"It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old water-proof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a cafe au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write."
Food for thought
Since I have come back from Italy I seem to have gotten lost amid every daily detail of life. I just couldn’t find it in myself to sit down and write- or simply to upload some of the marvelous things I discovered while I was there. Yes, I have taken on some new responsibilities, but it was more than that. I did not feel inspired whatsoever. I have been wondering how I could come back from such a beautiful place and not feel an urgent need to share what I found. I certainly gained enough knowledge to have something to write about, but the reality is, Italy gave me a very different view of coffee. I enjoyed it several times daily, but it was always an event. It was never rushed and never the same cup. It felt like a luxurious experience, but that is daily life in Italy. When I got home I thought that I would find that same excitement and lust for coffee within my own hometown. After all, I feel like my knowledge only deepened my love. I was surprised that instead I lost that lust when I left Italy. I have had to get reacquainted with the idea that a plastic, labeled cup is an acceptable delivery method for a cup of coffee. The thought of a cappuccino in a plastic cup in Italy is absurd, even more so is the idea that you would want a cup to go. Try explaining to an Italian that you want a cup to go…Coffee is the central point of social life and really just about everything in the typical Italian day. It’s a source of pride and a source of connection. It’s a little different in the States. Yes, it still plays an important role in social life but there is a difference. Italy has a different speed- everything is savored and enjoyed in present awareness. It isn’t just about the cup of coffee, it’s the point of life. The coffee is symbolic. That is what I want to start focusing on- the practice of being more present in my daily life. I’ll start with a cup of coffee.
What is your favorite city to have a cup of coffee, or even better, a cappuccino?
Cafe` Noir and the Perfect Place
In fifteen days I will set foot in Europe for the first time- Paris, London, and Siena, Italy. I am incredibly enthusiastic about this journey for several reasons. One of those reasons being the opportunity to have a cappuccino in the cafes of Paris and London and the chance to taste a real cappuccino in Italy. The thought of Europe brings a question to mind. Along with a perfect cup of coffee is the perfect place to enjoy it. What is the best place to have a cup? I envision a little cafe somewhere near Paris or somewhere in Italy. Maybe that is mainly because that is exactly what I intend to do this summer. There really is nowhere better to start the search for a perfect cup. I wonder if my search will stop here. How could I not find the perfect cup in Italy? Of course, the search won’t actually end here, but will I be let down by every other cappuccino I have after Italy or is that just romanticism kicking in? I will record my trip and all of my findings here.