One of the great things about the whole CoffeeConnect idea is the adaptability of the concept. I also like the fact that I can create opportunities for a Connect at the drop of a hat. This happened today at Rembrandt’s Coffee House. I often catch myself listening to accents and after hearing an English tone of voice I had to start a conversation. And so I met Jean (top right) from Manchester, UK and her friend Annette (bottom right) from Germany. (As promised on my CoffeeConnect page if I don’t have a camera my 6 year old will supply the image.) Both are here on extended stay as wives of Volkswagen employees. Here’s an opportunity to get insider views from outsiders, so to speak.
It’s always fun to watch people’s reaction when I ask about what they love in Chattanooga when they haven’t been briefed before hand. Jean and Annette smiled, then giggled, then looked up while they tried to narrow down from all the possibilities. Jean loved that Chatt is so family oriented. It’s easy to raise a family here. She also talked about how her son loves the wide variety of sports available at school and in the community unlike back home. Annette loves the beautiful scenery and the lay of the land, especially how quickly you can go from downtown into the mountains. She also highly recommended the Chattanooga Duck boats, especially if you have kids.
Earlier this week my wife and I stopped by Rembrandt’s for lunch during a bike ride (look for us the next time you’re there, we’ll be the ones with bike helmets either on or beneath the tables outside) and joined a semi-retired couple with Southern accents. It turned out they were from Asheville, NC. I told them my story about choosing Chattanooga from every other city in the world then tickled them when I said that Asheville came in second on our list.
So taken as a whole, here’s the lesson. Don’t be surprised in Chattanooga when the Southern drawl comes from a visitor and the foreign accent comes from your neighbor down the street. But I bet you insiders already knew that.