Last Friday, while we were in the French city of Annecy, Scott and I were clever enough to stop into a local bar for l’apéro.
The air was cool but the sun was still shining and the tables on the terrace were almost completely full. The vibe was happy and buzzy (as Scotty described it). We were the only English speaking people there (as far we could tell) and being surrounded by so much French conversation was really very entertaining.
The crowd was quite diverse. Beside us, a man was waiting anxiously for a lover – you could see him visibly relax once she arrived. Teenagers pushed tables together to accommodate a never ending stream of friends arriving. What appeared to be workmates laughed and joked as they headed into their weekend. Older men met, solemnly shaking hands and going on to discuss what I can only assume was secret men’s business. A group of ladies across the way looked as though they may have been given a leave pass from their kids – they were certainly enjoying their time together.
Unlike ‘Friday night drinks’ in some parts of the world, this was about catching up and socialising, not about the alcohol. That’s not to say that beer and wine weren’t being consumed, but equally as many tables were packed with soft drinks and hot chocolates as they were with Mondeuse or the local Haute-Savoie brew.
The tables quickly changed hands, as people said their hellos and goodbyes and moved on with smiles to whatever was next for their Friday night.
So this week, why not Frenchify Your Friday by making plans to catch with somebody – or several somebodies – just to say hello and share a quick drink. I can almost guarantee it will be an ideal way to let go of the week just gone and ease yourself into the weekend.
All the best for a fabulous Friday.
And until next time – au revoir.
6 thoughts on “Frenchify Your Friday – Number 65”
Most people have “their” café, kind of like that old TV show “Cheers.” They’re regulars and know that’s where they’ll run into their friends. The central square in our city is lined with cafés, but we always go to the same one and so do our friends. Which results in adding tables and pulling up chairs, like the teens did. Nice, spontaneous socializing.
Catherine you make it sound just perfect. I love the idea of being able to drop in somewhere and maybe catch up with friends without all the messing around to organise something. And ‘sometimes you need to be where everybody knows your name’. Sorry – couldn’t resist!!!
When we were in Bordeaux we were able to do a lot of people watching from our balcony. We looked over a square that had a number of restaurants, bars and cafes.
It was interesting that in the evening people didn’t seem to eat but were catching up with friends for a drink. So closely did we watch people that we timed them, both for how long they stayed and our interest in the restaurant turn over. (Yes, stalker vibes!) Most were there for an hour and only had one drink. They took a sip and put their drink down on the table and sat back and talked to their friends.
We felt that this was (on average) so different to Australia were you nursed your drink, sipped frequently and refilled more often.
We were impressed and could feel the difference. It wasn’t about the drink, it was about the friends. No loud drunken young girls being stupid, no drunken men carrying each other home. That’s why we felt safer walking the streets of Paris and Bordeaux at night. Safer than our own home city.
A totally different attitude to alcohol. We have a lot to learn.
Claire, you have an amazing ability to articulate just what I’m thinking – and in this case seeing!! And I agree we have a lot to learn. In our country it is all about the alcohol and not so much about the socialising. Here it is all about the catch up. I find it interesting that alcohol appears to be neither idolised or demonised here – somehow it seems more balanced…
Let us know where you’ll be next Friday for l’apero and a few of us will join you there 🙂
Now that sounds like an excellent idea Judy!!!