Today is New Year’s Day. Brr, it’s cold outside. We are happily holed up in our rented apartment in the 15th arrondissement and unwilling to leave its warmth.

After all, Paris on a Sunday is deserted. There are barely any pedestrians to be seen in her streets; we are blessed not to be amongst them. Soft snow falls from the sky, then float and drift in the gentle breeze.


All it takes is a gust of wind to chill us to the bone. For we have left our apartment at last, realising we couldn’t stay in forever. Now, barely an hour later, we are freezing. To escape the cold, we take shelter inside a café near Canal Saint-Martin.

Inside, the café was filled with Bobos (bourgeois bohèmes) and their lively chatter; the air infused with the aroma of coffee, cinnamon and cake. What a world of difference from the wintry scene outside!

We order a pot of black coffee, Chemex-brewed, and a pair of pastries, fresh from the oven. A sip or two of this deep-dark brew, and we are as good as new. Coffee, this blessed elixir, warms our hearts with its black flame.

While taking pictures, we observe the people around us. Whether it’s the barista or his customers, whether it’s the couple whispering to each other in one corner, there is a glow on our faces. The entire café is filled with warm, happy people.

Our hands cupping our hot coffees, comfortably ensconced inside a cosy café — sometimes happiness is but this simple.

今天是大年初一,外頭冷冷的;
我們在公寓里窩了大半天才捨得出門。
星期天的巴黎,街上行人稀少,冷冷清清的。
天空中飄著細細的白雪,輕輕柔柔的,沾衣不濕。
但當一陣風吹來,卻冷到骨子裡。
我們在外頭走了不久,就躲進一間咖啡館里避寒。
裡頭熱鬧的擠滿了人;空氣里瀰漫著咖啡,肉桂和蛋糕的香氣。
和外頭截然兩個世界。
我們點了一壺黑咖啡,兩份蛋糕。
我一邊著拍照,一邊觀察館內的人群。
有趣的發現無論是咖啡師,還是顧客。
無論是靜靜坐在一角的情侶,還是一邊高談闊論的人們,
大家臉上都流露出愉悅、滿足的表情。
整間咖啡館浸淫在一片快樂的氛圍裡頭。
大冷天,窩在一間溫暖的咖啡館裡頭;捧著杯熱飲料。
我想,有時快樂啊,也不過如此簡單。


Ten Belles
10 rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris, France
Mon-Fri 8am–6pm / Sat-Sun 9am–7pm
+33-1-4240-9078
www.tenbelles.com

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September 30, 2013

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