The refrigerator is hidden under the counter!
Americans consider this typical for a minibar but, for Europeans, it's a pretty standard sized model and not just a design choice (although it's a great space saver in an open plan kitchen like this). What it means is that I can't go to the grocery store and buy a week's worth of groceries; I have to do my shopping every few days. There's also the fact that I walk home with my purchases rather than piling a week's worth of shopping in the car, like I do in Los Angeles. It means I've already been in the grocery store three times this week. The grocery store clerks and I have a nodding acquaintance. That small thing, the small refrigerator, has changed the way I think about eating and meals; it also changes the way I structure my week and my days.
Coincidentally, I had a similar, though opposite experience, when I first moved to Los Angeles. Everything was big! It came in big packages! I drove to the grocery store and I could drive home with two, three or more bags of groceries! In New York, if I needed to do a big shopping, I knew that I would spend the afternoon at home, waiting for the groceries to be delivered. In LA, I had a dining room table and that meant I could have dinner parties.
It's the small things, the size of a refrigerator, and how you get to and from the grocery store, that have a surprisingly large impact. I'm curious to discover how differences in the other basic parts of life make a difference in the overall rhythm of my days.
Images: Abigail Stone