Starbucks in Paris

I will admit I’m a Starbucks fan here in the US. I have the app and “flash” that when I want to pay and get my “star rewards.” But I was shocked to see how many Starbucks there are in Paris. Why, in a city where you can find a cafe on almost every corner, with wonderful espresso, would you go to Starbucks?

Here’s my theory. I think that the reason that the French like Starbucks is that, for the first time, they have an option for a “portable” coffee, a cup that they can carry with them as they walk to work, or the subway, or wherever. The tradition of sitting in a cafe means that it is a leisurely experience, and a sedentary one. Starbucks “to go” offers a way to be moving and drinking at the same time.  This strikes me as a very American mentality– to want to be moving, making progress toward something, while enjoying a cup of coffee, and it is obviously a very different experience to sitting and relaxing in a corner cafe, watching the world go by.

In a recent trip to Paris, I asked a French friend what he thought and he agreed with my theory, but he added a new twist. He said that young people like Starbucks better because it’s “hip” and “cool.” They feel they are more likely to run into friends there and others “like them.” (i.e. young). The cafes appeal more to the older, more traditional French.  Interesting.

There is also an irony here that strikes me. Here in the US, Starbucks is the place that offers people an opportunity to sit for long periods, with their computer, or with friends, over coffee, without being asked to “finish and move on” as seems so often the case with restaurants and other eating establishments. So…. Starbucks offers us here in the US what the traditional French cafe offers in Paris……….are our cultures suddenly sharing a connection?

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The Kindle Version has arrived!

$4.99 takes it away!! For those of you who would rather read books electronically, the Kindle version has arrived! CreateSpace.com, where I self-published my book, offers to convert your book to Kindle format for $69. I don’t know anything about Kindle and how it’s formatted so it was well worth the money to have them do it for me. The one thing that I think does get hurt by the Kindle version, in the book, is the map. Since it’s on two pages, and Kindle only allows you to see one page at a time, you can only see 1/2 of the map at a time. Oh well. I don’t see any way to fix that?

I was also afraid that Kindle readers would not get the benefit of the beautiful color of the cover, but it looks like the cover IS in color, as long as you have a Kindle that is color as well.  The other interesting thing for a Kindle version is the need for Chapter links. I didn’t do a Table of Contents in the physical paperback because it’s not necessary, but of course, on Kindle, that’s one way to flip around in the story.  So, please give me feedback on the Kindle version if you buy it and ENJOY!cover