I arrived at Geneva Airport in the middle of December, 2007. We are having an unusually sunny January, even though Geneva usually suffers from very gray winters. I’ve been here for three years now and in some respects I feel like I am just getting acclimated.
I am sure that it is common, when one leaves there home of many years, to try to hold on to so many of the things that made you feel at home. These things are largely intangible, routines and rituals. For me, I loved getting out of my apartment in the morning and getting a cup of coffee from the street vendor, bagel store, bakery store, corner bodega or Starbucks. I enjoyed walking down the chilly city street, sipping at my hot beverage, while my mind and body were still waking up to begin the day.
The relaxed attitude of coffee consumption in Europe is changing to meet the Starbucks reality, (we can discuss the relative merits of walking with coffee, Starbucks, Americanization, and/or globalization another time) but what you still don’t find much of is American coffee. It’s true, I’ve adapted to the slow sipping of a café after a meal and adjusted to having both hands free while I stroll down the street, but what I really miss is having a big mug of steaming hot coffee in the morning.
I am so sick of espresso. The reason you sip it is to mask the heavy taste. You drink coffee. It warms you up and wakes you up at the same time. It seems to me as well that it fits quite well with the European idea of slow food, as I like to enjoy my cup of coffee for more than the mere moment that it takes one to down a shot of espresso.
I’ve seen coffee makers on sale in some stores, but oddly enough, ‘I’ve never seen one in anyone’s home. I’ve considered buying one, except that, well, espresso has far less caffeine than coffee, I am pretty much free of my caffeine dependence that I lived with since my late teen years. So, I won’t look at it as leaving behind my love of coffee, but rather moving forward in my new world, discovering other beverages and artificial stimulation.