All posts filed under: Culture

It never rains in Northern California…

…. at all. It’s day after day sunshine here. It is definitely very tantalising and the flavour of opportunities around the corner is everywhere. In our case without a car we can’t really reach them because it is true, America is a car culture and you better have a car here or be limited but the opportunities are there. There is a distinctly different attitude here to everything. An optimism that I am always trying to understand the origin of. For example in real terms being poor here sucks more than In the UK even (!) thanks to this culture of ‘the individual’ this mentality that creates and progresses SO much “everyone out for themselves: ready, steady, go” but it leaves one a bit by the wayside when in the UK (up until ‘Cameron the Coldhearted Opportunist’ came into power) and Europe there would be some support to helps bridges gaps until one can gain a foothold again. This here really is not a model I would follow if I had a say over government …

Beginning to forgive California

Being in America I felt pretty angry and helpless a lot of the time. I was there as a guest, with no space and not a lot of small change. I was holding back getting involved in anything because, I realize in retrospect, because I didn’t want to connect and get stuck in a country that I don’t understand. I mean they do things like pour fracking water into rivers.. What crazy people would do this? Don’t even get me started on all the insane rhetoric logic or lack thereof that gets prime airtime in this country. And this wild patriotism, it all astounds me. As does the apparent lack of terms like solidarity, social care, social security nets… I don’t really understand how people live there. Is everybody blindly stumbling around, is this why the media is so dominated by the mantra of: “live for the moment, be happy”, because you better be happy now because ultimately we are all somewhat doomed with threatening poverty in age etc… Well. I don’t know. I simply …

The signs of a good coffee & good café

A good coffee in my books requires this main characteristic: have a long lasting, beautiful créma. If there is no créma it might as well be filter coffee and I go to Cafés for the romance, the ritual, the specialness of the experience… If my Espresso or Americano lacks créma then it’s pretty much ruined for me. I am more likely to forgive burnt coffee flavour, cheap aroma lacking coffee even, but not the lack of a stable créma. There you have it, I am a snob. Ideally the coffee should be rich and aromatic, too. I have a bone to pick with the lacklustre service in American Cafes, especially those that model themselves on a European theme. None offer table service. And it always makes me feel like I am doing half the job myself. Maybe I should also pour my own coffee while I am at the counter or make my own snack? (The American Diner Cafes do table service , but if all you seek is an espresso and a brioche then …