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Burnt Cream

Kooka Boora (KB Caféshop), 75009

I go through periods from time to time when I can't write.

It would be writers block, only I'm not a writer. The only reason I spend any length of time tapping away on a keyboard is for this blog and even then, sometimes I can just rely on the photos to tell the story.

Anyway, in cases like these, I read. I pick up every free newspaper on the métro, I read online journals and I devour novels with the ferocious hunger of a kid at Easter who hasn't eaten chocolate for forty days and forty nights.

I've always been an avid reader. It was the idyllic childhood adventures that Enid Blyton recounted that occupied me as a child. Later on, it was my academic curriculum that prescribed 19th century Russian literature, pre-Socratic philosophy and Latin love poetry.

Within the last month, books on corruption in Thailand, the social status of women in China, and eroticism in Japanese culture have found their place on my bedside table. I'm currently reading Milan Kundera's The Insufferable Lightness of Being - and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to take a step back and reflect on what it is to be human.

You might almost say it's as if I'm trying to run away from something in reality. Escaspism may be a term you would use. The truth is that unless I physically have a sheath of bound pages to hold in front of me, nothing else attains my attention. I can be alone in the sunshine on the balcony at Burnt Cream HQ, I can be surrounded by tens or hundreds of other people in the métro, or I can be sitting quietly in a coffee shop and that's where I get to the point of this blog post.

Commonly known as "the third Apple store in Paris", the Kooka Boora coffee shop attracts the affluent, young and trendy. It has also long been the home of those who are looking for a quiet moment or two with a book.

You may already know that I have a favourite coffee shop that I frequent on a weekly basis - but, although it might sound absurd to you, it's not always easy to go in there with my book because I know too many other people there who pop up and say hello. These phases of mine are the times when what I'm actually looking for is a bit of anonymity.

Along with Coutume down on the other side of the river, Kooka Boora was a founding father in the Paris coffee scene and as a result, I am lazily regarded as just another customer who will inevitably spend the next hour or two in a corner, most likely tapped into the free wi-fi. 

Weekends are another story altogether as the sun will bring crowds of desperate Parisians with Vitamin D deficiencies onto the terrace in their droves. During the week however, fear not: the coffee (which comes from Cafe Lomi in the 18th, incidentally) is always good-to-excellent and you're sure to be able to find a space to bunker down with a book (Mac or  other.)


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