When you sit in a café, not a chain, rather a proper authentic café anywhere in the world you immediately feel immersed in the culture – the vibe of the city permeates all of your senses. The smell of the streets, the architecture, the temperature, the preferred culinary anchors – if you are receptive it can be intoxicating. It’s no different for me as I sit at the Parisian café, L’anticafé.
L’ anticafé is not the average French cafe. Aside from lacking outdoor seating, it is not full of tourists or menus in multiple languages despite being tucked away in the 1st arrondisement behind the Louvre. In fact, it has no menu at all. L’anticafé differs further from the typical French café — instead of paying a ridiculous sum for a small cup of coffee, you pay by the hour and can consume as much coffee or tea as you want. They also have snacks and free wifi. So, for five euro, I selected a long wooden table that I had all to myself and ordered my first latte.
I pulled out my stack of stationery and envelopes and started writing to my friends back at home. As the waitress approached me with my latte she commented, “I don’t see young people writing letters often. It’s inspiring to see your papers instead of the screens everyone else in the cafe is staring at.”
Personal communication – touching someone with more thought then the fleeting moment of a text is perhaps a universal craving. We have become detached. Rather than sending emails and text to my friends and family back in the states I write letters to them. I savor the time to share my experience in Paris in a thoughtful manner. No distractions, no clicks, beeps, popups – just me, my latte, pen, and paper.