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It doesn’t need to be perfect…

Comfortable and wonderful bars, cafes and restaurants can be found in every city. However, these “pearls” are often not to be found where the prices for rental space are high. Spending happy hours with loved ones away from the commercial shopping areas, who wouldn’t want that. In the neighbourhoods, which are somewhat remote from the centre, there are sometimes such pearls of gastronomy. In summer these are popular meeting places for people who enjoy being together more. I myself love these culturally very interesting places.

They are particularly exciting in the big metropolises like Paris, London, Berlin, Milan, Bern, Basel or Zurich.

I remember exciting encounters in Paris, near Mont-Martre. Since French is my mother tongue, I was able to quickly get involved in the heartfelt conversations with the local population. When the French used to say “Petit Suisse”, they had an additional “Jööö”. Bonus. Some of the French expressions I used were sometimes a bit funny for “les Parisiens”. This often helped me break the ice and bring out a smile.

Today we too often tend towards perfectionism, everything has to be right and orderly. When I look at certain hotels and restaurants where everything is perfectly coordinated, I often feel uncomfortable. The five-star hotel industry is a good example of this. Not so long ago I ordered a tea in a lounge of a well-known hotel. It was delivered on two small silver trays, one with the small tea jug and the other with a small tin of sugar and milk each. The tea cup was added separately. On the table there was also a decoration. Together the table was covered to 50% with these “utensils”. I felt quite cramped because I just imagined how it would look like if my customer would come right away.

Perfectionism is the perfect template for an unhappy life!

My personal experience has shown that cosiness begins where perfection ends. At the end of the eighties I had supplied customers who could afford one or more private jets. Do you know why, after a short time, I was able to supply almost eighty percent of the private jet departures at the airport?  Quite simply, the “rich” had had enough of five-star food, they preferred to eat as their mother or grandmother does at home. One day one of these personalities had told me the following: “You know, I stay more than 200 days a year in top hotels. I’m an ordinary person like you, I love home cooking, it should be natural and authentic. That’s why I want you to cook for me. And if I like that, I’ll come back next year with my friends.” The following year I cooked for eight out of ten business jets passengers who participated in the Davos Economic Forum. I still like to think of this statement today. We Swiss like to say: “Es Menschelet everywhere!

For example, small cafés that seem a bit chaotic, run by friendly and hearty people who serve you a great homemade cake with a Café au Lait on a somewhat shaky table. Next to you sits the heating engineer in his dusty overall at his morning “Znüni” who is discussing the upcoming service with the boss.  Here one feels well because the people are relaxed and friendly with each other. Of course there can be a loud word every now and then, whatever. The “you” is a matter of course, everyone respects everyone who is sitting in the same boat. Do you understand what I mean?

Even if I was a “stranger” in such places, a look around, a smile and a “salute” or “bonjour” quickly broke the ice.

I remember a late evening, I was at the “Place Pigalle” in a small bar with a big counter, with a view of the busy road. I observed what was happening inside and outside and listened, often unintentionally, to the comments and conversations of the locals. People came in, ordered a café or a drink, paid and went out again after a short time. At some point someone joined me and started telling his life story. I didn’t have much to talk about, it was just enough to listen. It made him happy. Why probably? It’s just a good feeling when you have someone who just listens to you.

Do you also know such places?

Then let us know and tell us your story. Send us a photo with a text with your impressions and experiences. Tell us your happiest moment you had in this place.