The coffee network

The intricate network of coffee drinkers reiterates into a highly complicated and sophisticated network of transaction, service provision and cooperation, which has not yet been at all investigated, but merely mentioned repeatedly in an effort to be accounted for. This network is something well established in Greece, but not defined, as it is well known that the level of capability for analysis in this country is very basic due to a perverse education system from kindergarten up to the highest levels of research. There is a degree of fairness in this system, as is true for every type of autonomous entity that has evolved democratically. Evaluation, negotiations and buisness arrangements are all settled over glasses of coffee, often outdoors and often due to the lack of office spaces appropriate in other parts of Europe for such conversations.

Greeks are raised from birth almost in such places, spending a large part of their productive time in them and thus are highly accustomed to deal with the language, mannerism and casuality of the meetings occurring there. It is a construct that is much to blame for an entire nation΄s attitude towards work, life and other people. Greeks, if not psychologically handicapped in some way or for some other reason excluded from cafes tend to show very little stress in their social life (relative to the rest of Europe – especially the northern parts) or professional networking, as it is all something they have been preparing for and acclimitised to since very small children.

It is true for any european capital or big city that the place where one would choose to have a drink and spend their leisure time is an indication of their social class and taste. However, in Athens, the choice of coffee-bar is definitive and creates a state of exclusion and inclusion unique to most places in Europe, which I at least have lived in or visited. My own coffee-bar peers seem to form their social, political and ethical outlook in this environment, which they visit on almost daily basis. This coffee drinking-cigarette bearing culture is what makes greeks somewhat blaze and often ackward when removed from their natural environment, ultimately unable to abandon their sunny, vibrand nichees and adopt the individualistic, socially tight, family orientated, economically straightforward lifestyle of their northern european counterparts. I bet that if our politicians were placed in bar-cafe setting they would be able to negotiate for once effectively.

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