This is another post of the category advantages of a small town, and about myself. When I am in a bigger city, for example in my home town, I would never ever eat my breakfast in a bakery or coffee shop, I usually prefer to have my breakfast at home, and if that is not possible, I would rather eat my breakfast on my way. I don’t suffer from claustrophobia, but to be honest, the term is still perfect to explain the feelings I get if I am in a totally crowded room. That is however much different in the small town where I am right now.
It has nothing to do with the crowd, I did for example enjoy electronic music events with thousands of people around me when I was in my early twenties. I did for example visit the May Day, an electronic music event with 40.000 people dancing in a hall in Dortmund, or the Love Parade in Berlin, with over a million people dancing around the Victory Column in Berlin, I enjoyed the action in the middle of the crowd, maybe because I was young and drunken, who knows.
I did enjoy these or similar events back then, but at the same time I could never enjoy personal things like a breakfast in a store where there are strangers a half meter away from you, who enjoy to take a look how the fork moves from your plate into your mouth while they waiting for their food to arrive, because that is so different compared to dancing and having fun with like-minded people. In the case of a restaurant, I always disliked the curiosity of strangers, and the fact that they could understand every single word we would talk, its not a place where I like to discuss private things.
I suffered from social anxiety for a while, it’s much better today but still there at times, but even before that time I wouldn’t have liked to have my breakfast in a room full of strangers around me, as same as I always hated to take the bus, or the train in holiday seasons. This had nothing to do with the social anxiety, that I got later on, it is completely unrelated. I just don’t feel comfortable at places where I don’t have my privacy together with friends or family members, that is the first reason.
Also I never liked the fact that you can not choose the seat neighbor in public transport, maybe its someone who didn’t take a shower for a week, or it’s rush hour and the transport is that full that you had to endure five inches of eye contact with a stranger for 15 minutes or more. I could add other things, for example losing several minutes of your life in a checkout line full of stressed people, or losing a lot of time in a waiting room in agency together with a lot of moaning people. That all can mean city life to me.
So, if I dislike all these things, why exactly should I freely decide to eat my breakfast in a very similar environment? Really, I do need 40 meters of free space around me, and no, I don’t want to hear the jabbering of strangers around me. Sometimes there is absolutely no way around this, for example when I have to make purchases, or managing bureaucracy, but visiting a crowded restaurant or a coffee shop, that is something I can and will avoid in a city most of the time.
Now about the primary subject of this post, one of the advantages of a small town. Speaking about smaller towns, you can forget everything I wrote, it simply doesn’t apply to small towns. Today in the morning I did enjoy my breakfast in a coffee shop, that’s where I took the snapshot of this post with my smartphone. I did eat there several times a week already over the last months, and I like it. There are other people enjoying their breakfast, I saw 10 people around me, several meters away sitting at other tables, not a half meter next to me.
That is the point I wanted to make, it’s so different, and then I like it a lot. There are fewer people in a town, and you see it in stores, when you are visiting the bank, or the authorities and so on. It doesn’t matter, everything takes less time, is less stressful, and you have some privacy even if you go out to eat something in a bar or in a coffee shop. That is one big advantage of towns over bigger cities. I really could get used to it, but that doesn’t mean that I prefer towns over bigger cities, because both have advantages and disadvantages. But I definitely like the calmness you have in a town.