Let me start by saying that I am a serious coffee drinker.
So are the French, but in a very different way. Their drinks tend to be very strong and very small. They are meant to be enjoyed leisurely over the course of an hour. At cafés, you have to order “American Style Coffee” in order to get a cup that can hold more than five sips. My ideal coffee, however, is a large cup that you can chug on the go. Each morning in New York, I grab my Grande black coffee with cream from Starbucks and head off to class.
Unbeknownst to me, eating on the go is not a concept that the French understand or find acceptable. As my professor informed me, “Food is meant to be enjoyed. It’s not something you rush.” On the Metro, you will never see any Parisians sipping coffee or even nibbling on a granola bar. They set aside time for food in their schedules and sit down for every meal.
There are only 39 Starbucks locations in Paris (compared to Manhattan where there are nine Starbucks stores for every square mile! (yes, I did the research)). So when I passed one on Rue de Rivoli, I couldn’t resist. I may have gotten a few stares, but who cares! I’m a tourist!