Today I bought a notebook, as all mine have random scribbles inside and I wanted something nice, fresh, and pristine. I took it to a cafe in the city, where I planned to grab some lunch, a drink, and write my 15 minutes for the day.
I learned something.
I have the complete and utter inability to concentrate in public.
Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but I was trying! The pen was out, the book was out, and I had nothing. I thought I’d try to switch gears and so I pulled out something else, a travel book in German for our summer vacation, and was trying to skim through that, when I heard the sweet, sweet sounds of English being spoken nearby.
Not only were a few girls sitting a bit in front of me speaking English, but then another girl biked up, chatted to them for a moment, then joined her friends at a different table nearby. Now I had English in stereo. Next to me were two men who called their colleague to taunt him about still being in the office, which led to him showing up about 15 minutes later. On the other side of that table was an older man, sitting alone with a glass of wine.
Nothing wrong with that, but over the course of my lunch he rotated chairs 4 times, went into the restaurant for 15 minutes and sat at a different table alone (without his wine), talked to himself, talked to the sky, talked to the people next to him (who determinedly stared at me for the duration), turned his chair around and straddled it like the cool teacher in high school, and finally, pulled a crinkled five-Euro note out of his pocket and held it aloft until the server came and collected it.
How could I possibly concentrate with a veritable show happening around me?
In short, I couldn’t. Instead, I perused the book as best as I could, while snippets of English conversation were blown into my ear. I watched bikers go past, and admired the impossibly high heels of a girl who seated herself at a table in front of me. I don’t know how the Euro women do it, but the few pair of heels I have here are only brought out for special occasions, preferably weddings that take place in a cobblestone-free location. Personally, I’m all about the flats.
If, 10 years ago when I first had this harebrained idea, I had asked myself what I thought life in Europe might have looked like, it might actually have looked rather like today. Sitting in a sunny cafe with a book, watching life go past, that’s the dream, right?
It’s not the dream every day, because I’m not independently wealthy and so sometimes I have to work and all, but sometimes… it’s cafe time.
Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.