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Yes you read that right. Coffee. In Bowls. As in bowls that you normally use for eating your cornflakes in. As in bowls without a handle. As in you will need to use both hands to lift the bloody thing to drink it. Unless you have huge, massive, gargantuan hands.


Or you are King Kong. Then you can drink it one-handed.


What is this all about? Am I wrong to react this way? Was it wrong of me, the first time I sat down at my French girlfriend’s mother’s table, to take one look at the bowl filled with coffee sat in front of me, push it gently but firmly away, and look at her questioningly?


Was it wrong to feel that I must have woken up in Crazy Town, and to expect a dog to then knock on the door to give me my mail. After all, if we’re drinking out of bowls then the canines must have taken over, right?


This is perfectly normal here, in France. They all do it.




I think it’s crazy.


They then add insult to injury by dipping all manner of items in said bowl of coffee. Making it even more strange and, weirdly, even more like some kind of meal/breakfast hybrid. Like breakfast with a main course.


I can’t get a ‘handle’ on this HA HA HA HA!


But I wish someone would.


They don’t ask me to drink it out of bowls any more, they’ve learned. They know that I only eat soup, cornflakes, porridge or cereals full of shockingly unhealthy chemicals that, nonetheless, turn the milk a tasty, tasty brown (so that’s OK then).


But sometimes they ‘forget’. They did it the other day, looking the other way while I was confronted by something several times larger, deeper and with one less handle than the required amount (i.e one). But they changed it for me.


And feigned ignorance.


They must look at me, as though I’m some kind of freak, with my hand savagely holding my barbarically small cup – or should I say ‘tasse’. Muttering under their breath about this flagrant display of anti-Frenchness. I don’t care. I’ll learn your language, I’ll love your culture, I’ll love your country but I will not now, or in the future, drink coffee out of a bowl.




Oh, and I also take milk in my coffee…