112 gripes

    50. "The French spend all their time at these cafes: They just sit around drinking instead of working."

     The same people don't sit at the cafes all day. Watch them come and go. They worked before they sat down and they go to work after they leave. Many business negotiations are carried on at a cafe; and many business deals are concluded there.

     We Americans don't approve of the cafe custom. We don't approve of a leisurely lunch hour. All this means is that the French custom is different from ours.

     The cafe is something we just don't have in the States. It isn't a bar. It isn't a saloon. It's more like a club. It's the place a man can get away from a crowded home. It's the place he can meet his friends. It's the place a man takes his girl or wife and family - to have coffee (when they used to have coffee), beer, wine; to read the papers, play checkers, write letters. To the French, the cafe is a place to relax, not a place to get drunk.

     "Cafe", by the way, means coffee. Before the war most of the drinking at the cafes was coffee drinking. There is no coffee now. Blame the Germans for that.