For only €1.40, you can buy a thimbleful of coffee that lasts all afternoon. No hassles, no attempts to hurry you along. Even in the busiest areas, like Place Cap in Toulouse, no-one dares to suggest that you should move, or expresses surprise that you’re alone. So is everyone else, wrapped in their café-bubble of privacy, their tables claimed for as long as they want them.
And since France introduced – and enforced – the smoking ban, life has got even better.