Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coffee shops (or, the best of the US, part 2)

While living in the US I basically worked out of coffee shops. And this was a personal choice as most times I did have an office. But in general I like people around me, I don't mind the noise and being in a coffee shop makes me feel like work is not "work" but more of an excuse to hang out in my favorite spots. Plus graduate studies can make you work weird hours, so being able to go to a coffee shop made working Saturday morning and the occasional evening less boring. Both in Blacksburg and then in Raleigh I had my favorite spot, where I knew the owners and even had a favorite table. Usually I choose small, independent, cozy places. Having a couch is a plus, and baked goodies as well. I go there so often that I end up knowing other people, and it becomes almost a hand out spot.

When moving to Oslo I was impressed early on by the amount of coffee shops around. It seems like every block has one! And the very first day I went to try them out, but soon realized there is a huge problem with the coffee shops here. I searched everywhere, went to 5 or 6 while walking down the streets to no avail... they have no wifi! On the 6th they told me that I could find wifi at McDonald's. I was ashamed... I always avoid fast food chains and here I am, at McDonald's for the sake of internet.

Yeah, I know I don't need internet to do 90% of my job, but being available on skype is a must if I'm not at the office and being able to do google searches expedites problem solving when I'm stuck (and, of course, emails and facebook entertain as well). So, despite all the variety in coffee shops around here (and in Paris, and Spain) I admit I miss the coffee shops in the US a LOT.

PS- Never mind that I don't like coffee... who says you cannot have tea at a coffee shop? :P


  1. do they have mcCafe's in oslo? it's a good 1/2 way between the fastfood and the cafe atmosphere.... i know they had them all over NZ.

  2. Hehe I'm a tea lover too :) I rarely drink coffee in a coffee shop.

    I guess Switzerland must be the same as Norway for the wifi in public spaces. In India the concept is catching up real fast, a lot of malls are completely wifi enabled and you find a lot of people with their laptops in food courts or the mall's coffe shops. I wonder why Europe is so behind with internet really.