Its official – I was ‘that woman’ who asks for a latte outside the city and gets the reply ‘ I have normal coffee….but I can put milk in it.’ with a wry smirk. How did this happen? I grew up in the countryside, albeit in a modern village, with the regular selection of little shops you would expect in such a place in the 1980s. We had a bus that ran to the local town and as a treat in the school holidays my mum and I would go into town and have a cream cake in a coffee shop, buy a new book and a bag of fudge. I didn’t live in a city until I went to University and I always said I wasn’t a city kind of person. Fast forward a decade and a half and I now can honestly say that Copenhagen has started the conversion to city girl without me really noticing.But so far I am a one city girl (although Paris could become my bit on the side) as Berlin didn’t have the same affect. But I find now that when I am outside the city, I miss the aspects of city life that I probably take a little for granted. So we are back to the latte. I don’t like other types of coffee and I can get my favourite one anywhere in the city where ever I am but not so outside the city. I can pop to the supermarket or kiosk in the evening to grab a treat or something I have forgotten for dinner. Living in the countryside takes a degree of planning city life simply doesn’t. Plus there are street lights in the city so I don’t wake up at 3am and think I have lost my sight!
We are lucky here that ‘city’ means beaches, parks, cycle ways, lakes, pedestrian streets and Christiania if we want to get away from real city life but not all city dwellers are as lucky and sometimes this isn’t enough even for a converted city girl, like myself.
My son often says he would like to live in the countryside and whenever I list all the things he loves about the city such as museums, parks and his favourite spots for hot chocolate or ice creams, his answer is always ‘we’ll catch the train’.
In my long term plans I see a summer house because there are things on the coast and in the countryside we miss out on, like deserted sand dunes to run up and down, amazing undisturbed sunsets, unpolluted sea air to take your breath away, gardens for our kids to play in and to grow our own vegetables and flowers, and I am sure if I looked hard enough, cafes selling lattes. I wouldn’t want to leave the city behind permanently but a little bolt hole would offer the perfect combination.