Strangely, or should I rather say coincidently, many of the previous posts were written in one or another cafe, cafes of different kinds. Vintage cafes with a nostalgic touch, stylish ones with prime focus on minimalism, cosy ones with homely atmosphere, exotic taverns on the seaside, where people spoke a language I have no knowledge of, Greek or Spanish.
(A family-owned cafe in a small town in Tenerife, right below the Volcano Teide)
In a tiny corner, I sometimes find observing people immensely interesting. It is not that I have the weird trait of spying strangers though I did overhear various kinds of conversations in many occasions, unintentionally I must emphasise. It was almost unavoidable given the short physical distance between them and me.
(A small cafe in traditional Swedish style located in Skansen Open-Air museum in Stockholm, Sweden)
In cafes I am made aware of the diversity of human nature, distinct differences or subtle ones which are hard to pinpoint. Unconsciously or subconsciously, I tend to figure out accents and dialects and their backgrounds, either on the basis of my limited knowledge or pure imaginations.
(One of the cafes in the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Oslo Norway)
I have encountered my fellow observers too, those who were observing me, a little woman sitting alone in the corner, reading and writing and looking around in a discreet way. We might even give each other a smile and a nod, acknowledging our existence and slightly weird behaviour.
(A beach cafe in Crete, Greece)
So here I am, in a corner of the cafe about 20 minute walk from my home. Observing my surroundings is however, not the primary focus today. I aim to finish my next blog post, the one I am writing now. Not only that, I intend to finish it quickly so that I can make time for reading. I am more than half way through the novel “The bridges of Madison County”. I read it in Chinese many years ago, far too young and innocent to catch the essence.
(My local cafe, one of my favourite spots)
Have to get another cup of tea with soy milk, the sun shining outside, the snow melting in an incredible speed. It must be tired too, the snow, tired of lying there purposelessly for months.The spring has not abandoned the country, not completely, that is for sure.
A few pages of “The bridges of Madison county” have comforted the mind quite a bit, those traces of stress have now gone. Robert caught the smallest trace of an accent, Francesca’s Italian accent. Such a charming observation.
My Norwegian has a subtle English accent, someone noticed. And my English has a slight trace of Chinese accent, someone else commented. Language is fascinating, is it not? What about my Chinese I wonder, does it have a trace of Norwegian or English accent, or both?
A two-hour retreat is over, leaving the cafe now. It seems I have come to the end of the post. The sun still high and it is slightly windy. What a treat, perfect for a walk.
Thank you for reading and take care.