Saturday, August 06, 2005

Two Type A's Assimilating to European Culture...

So yesterday we spent the afternoon at Central Kavehaz, one of the more famous coffeshops here in Budapest. It was Becca and my first shot at the 'coffee culture' Becca's brother Jon have been telling us all about ever since their honeymoon in 2004.  For two type A personalities, the idea of spending the afternoon in a coffee shop and just relaxing, reading, writing in our journal, etc. isn't the easiest fit.  This same culture also transfers to the cafe/dinner culture where a three hour dinner and having to practically beg for your bill is certainly the norm.  Needless to say this is a little different from the US fast food culture where if you stay more than a few minutes past finishing your meal, the 'associate' at the local chain restaurant is ready to pull out the taser to get you out the door.
I can safely say that we're doing our best and slowly adjusting to the longer meals, slower service and the 'table is yours until you want to leave' philosophy.  It's nice to be someplace where you can relax and let the time go by without worrying whether the waiter is giving you the royal stink eye or whether you need to purchase something else so you're not a victim of the table turnover taser.  Just allows you to relax, have real conversation and just spend the time needed to let your brain open up to think creatively and not worry about what has to happen in the next 30 minutes.
There are obviously pluses and minuses to both cultures; in the case of the Europeans, your waiter can be indifferent (not that that is specific to one culture or another), getting the check may be difficult at times and we certainly have learned that eating with a deadline (whether it be a bus, an opera, etc) on the brain can lead to a stressful experience.  And as Becca pointed out to me yesterday, when you chug tea like she does, hot water refills and/or the bottomless cup of coffee isn't such a bad thing. 
Just our two cents on yet another thing that has popped up in our discussions and experiences here in Europe.  May get around to the Tipping Dilemma at some point but until then this will have to do.
Comments as always are welcome; we appreciate the chatter.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to say hi and tell you that I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts. I've got the whole movie playing in my head...but look forward to Flickr photos when you get them posted, too! :) Kristin

Anonymous said...

I second the benefits of a bottomless cup of coffee--

When you return to the U.S. (if you decide to!!), you'll both be Type .75A personalities--still pushing the 24 hour day envelope with your achievements, but with the ability to enjoy hot bevvies without looking at your watch. It's a whole new superhero--

Anonymous said...

I just love it when a plan comes together!! :) Glad to see the two type A's are finally experiencing and understanding what it's all about. This from your type A mother who knows better now! :)