One of the things we, and other foreigners in this area, sometimes talk about is the fact that people here don’t seem to live for work, but work to live. We view this as positive and try to live our lives like this too, but a lot of people don’t understand why locals don’t jump on every occasion to earn money or are acting in a way that is viewed by them as unprofessional. For example, our local bar closes before dinner time, while it could be beneficial for them to stay open an hour longer to earn more money serving dinner. They are just not interested enough in the extra income to sacrifice their evening.
On the other hand, if they decide to expand their business or take new initiatives you see that they put all their heart and soul in it. And here we finally come to the lavender cookies story ?.
In our village we have a pasta laboratory where among other things the famous ravioli are made. But, the lady who took over this business is also passionate about pastries, biscuits … So, when one of our mutual friends with a restaurant asked her if she wanted to make lavender cookies to serve during a flower based lunch she jumped on this opportunity with an incredible enthusiasm and made several trial batches. She even bought a stamp with the letters “lavanda” on it and since that they she decided to make and sell lavender cookies.
It seems a lot of work to make them and she sells them for a price that, in my opinion, is too low. But she’s so incredibly proud of them and every time I tell her how good they taste and how much our guests enjoy them I see her grow an inch. Moneywise it may not be the most intelligent decision, but if you factor in the pleasure she derives from expanding her business with these (and in the meantime also other) cookies, for her this is the best choice she could have made. It’s not about finding a way to earn the most money possible, but about finding a way to earn enough with something she likes doing.
For me this is the perfect example of how a lot of people in this valley look at work and life, and it’s something that really resonates with me.