One thing that I will never ever get bored of here in Carcassonne is the slow-paced way of life. Walking through Place Carnot on any given day, at any given time and you are guaranteed to see tables of people sat in the sun drinking with family, friends, or even alone. Initially the thought of lazing around outside a café almost filled me with dread, I’m a rusher, as are most Brits. Try to think of a time when you saw a group of Brits sat outside a nice little café for more than an hour at a time chilling out, conversing, people watching and just generally enjoying the atmosphere; you can’t can you? It just doesn’t happen and I wasn’t sure it would really bode well.
However sat outside Picnic Café with a friend, a few drinks and several hours later I’m fully unwound, enjoying the sun and wondering why I ever needed to rush anywhere ever. The staff don’t badger you to buy more drinks or check you’re okay, they just let you get on with it.
Back in Britain I’d feel lacking if I spent a day sat on a patch of grass, there’d always be something niggling away at the back of my mind that I should be rushing to do or solve. Here almost everywhere closes over lunch so they have time to eat before they go back to work, even my bank! I’m not sure I can imagine the workers of Natwest closing the branch and going for a nice lunch together at a café. It’s more than likely going to be a lunchbox at a desk if anything at all! It really makes you think that there is so much time in the world but so much of it is spent doing menial tasks and most of it is lost under piles of paperwork and at office desks, not spent enjoying the world with the people that matter.
There’s so much to be done here in Carcassonne but there’s no rush to do it and that, I think, is what’s going to make it hard to get used to when I go back to England.