14 September 2017

the seigneur-terraces


When I first moved to Wellington, I spent a few weeks dipping into freelancing while remaining untethered to the working world. Aimless and far from home in a place that felt so familiar with its weather, humour, and fauna, it took some getting used to.

Seigneur-Terraces: (French) Coffee shop dwellers who sit at tables a long time but spend little money.

I love that this word has no English equivalent. During those weeks, I sat for hours in different coffee shops soaking in the city and sipping flat whites that had long gone lukewarm. Nestled into a nook of a cafe, procrastinating by people-watching, feeling ensconced in those around me's lives. Seeing the residents to-ing and fro-ing from the comfort of an armchair. 

Often the best way to independently immerse yourself into a new city is to become a seigneur-terrace. It's especially apt in a country that has coffee flowing through its veins. It's a way to explore, a way to see different sights, a way to fill your time, a way to give yourself some sort of purpose (albeit a wanky Millennial one). And when you're done, you'll find that there's probably a place you always come back to - your local, if you will. Somewhere that makes you feel right at home as you drink tea with a friend, sit reading your book at the weekend, or finally do the work you've been putting off. Somewhere you can absorb the city's buzz, life, and conversation. Somewhere that warmly and tastily anchors you to the here-and-now.

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