This post is inspired by the book Manob Sagor Teer-ay, by Shankar (মানব সাগর তীরে/শংকর) about france, the french and often about how different of similar they are to Bengalis, or the rest of the world. Insightful and funny accounts from 1990.
If the Parisians invented sitting around in a cafe and doing nothing, maybe its not that apparent these days since it has caught on so much worldwide. As I am reading Shankar's account of Paris, I am beating myself up about my own trip there, which now in comparison seems much less interesting. Shankar's friend Pachuda is taking him around the city right now, first they bought bread from a shop where people love it so much, they queue up for it (I think its this one), and then they are about to go to a cafe, while all the way Pachuda is telling him the history of the love affair between coffee and the French. It struck me to look for something similar on YouTube, and this is what I found - However, one walk around any area in Dhaka, you're bound to find a tea stall, or a tea stand, and lots of people around it or in it. You may not find anyone reading a book there or sitting quietly, but, definitely you'll find the other thing that makes us tick - ADDA - or chatting.