Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Last week we pondered the age-old question, would you rather have a magic wand or the super powers of your favorite super hero? Unlike previous Would You Rather…? questions of late, readers were more evenly divided between the two choices. An equal number of you chose the wand because super powers were either not practical (especially if caught in the middle of a savannah while being hunted by a hungry lioness) or would seemingly require one to be responsible for solving the world’s problems. Also in favor of the wand was the ability to summon things from across a room as desired. A handy feature indeed.

Those coming down on the side of the super powers shared the tragedy inherent in losing the magic wand and then cited specific super heroes as the ones to emulate: Batman/Batwoman (girl?), Superman, and Sue Storm Richards were contenders, all with fabulous super powers. There was also one vote for the forever youthful super swordsman who could only be smote by another super swordsman, a decidedly unique twist on the concept of super powers.

What did I choose? I went back and forth on this several times, taking into careful account the wisdom shared in the kasbah. In the end, I had to go with my gut feeling: the wand. I like it’s diversity of power, it’s multipurpose functionality, and would love to be able to enchant things like a broom or mop to do some of the cleaning around the house.

Yes, I went with laziness as my deciding factor. Don’t judge. I do have a magic wand after all.

And now, on to this week’s question:

Assuming you live alone and have a deadline looming ahead on a major project that your career and livelihood hinges upon, would you rather sequester yourself in:

a comfortably spacious apt. in the city where you can order take-out at will, have tons of resources available, yet could easily be distracted by the goings-on around you


– OR –

a cozy, yet spacious, remote cabin in the mountains where you would have hardly any distractions but would be stuck in the middle of nowhere?

mountain view


So, clever readers – are you a city mouse or a country mouse? Are drawn to the action, diversity, and amenities of the city? Or are you craving the soothing peacefulness of a remote cabin in the mountains? Pull up a pillow and have some tea. I always love to hear from you.

24 thoughts on “Wednesday’s “Would You Rather…?” question: City Mouse vs. Country Mouse

  1. I would be a country mouse, as long as I could have a French cottage like the one that Colin Firth’s writer character has in Love Actually. I would also like a charming housekeeper/servant. He would bring me coffee and bagels.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      A charming housekeeper/servant/cook would be a must, especially one who brings strong coffee and tea. And vegetarian sushi for lunch. Also, a nice glass of wine with a fabulous dinner would be great, too. But I’m not too picky…

  2. This question splits me actually… If I really needed to get things done — as in a mega-deadline — I’d have to say the country. The fewer distractions the better, really. I would enjoy the ability to go for a walk in the fresh air too.
    Having said that, I’m a great believer in cafe writing, and the benefit of a change in scene… so I would possibly be OK in the city. But not if it were Paris, I suspect 🙂
    Tricky question! But I’ll come down on the side of the country.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Another country mouse in the house. There are pros and cons to both. I would want to limit the distractions as well, but then having access to great food and maybe a bookstore or a cafe would also be good for the genius and me. I wouldn’t sit inside and write all the time if I were in Paris, either. Unless I lived there for six months. Then maybe I’d write a sentence or two every now and then. 😉

  3. I would have to be a Country Mouse who lives within a shortish drive to a major metropolitan area. I like being able to have culture within the grasp of a reasonable day trip. Does that make me a citified country mouse or a countrified city mouse? Hmmmm….

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      I think it makes you a country mouse who likes to get down with her bold self in the city once in a while. I picture you driving in a little convertible wearing Jackie O sunglasses and a red scarf tied around your head, the tail end of it blowing back behind you as the city comes into view. Or maybe that’s my morning coffee talkin’. Not sure.

  4. Country Mouse! Even without a deadline, I dream of living/writing in a country setting (at least semi-rural. It’s not practical with a husband who would have to go to work in the city, and children (eventually) who would be off to school… but in an ideal word, give me fresh air, greenery and a few animals, any day.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Yes, there are certain impracticalities of living out in the wilderness, away from modern conveniences, schools, and work. I think it would take more effort to live in the mountains, but it would be much more relaxing and less distracting, that’s for sure.

  5. I think the notice on this blog post did not hit my inbox until this morning, and yes I’m sure because I checked email before night-night, and…

    Oh! Not on topic? Sorry.

    Which logically segues into why I choose country mouse. There are fewer shiny baubles to chase, and inspiration comes in the way of meditative communion with foliage, chipmunks, soaring birds, and shooting stars. Mama Nature would impose a curfew so I could get plenty of rest.[ I do not do woods alone at night.]

    Besides, in my imaginary world, I already own a tree-house in the woods (with indoor plumbing, of course), and WiiFii access and a balcony…

    …with a ladder I could lower to let the “inspiration” for my steam scenes gain access to me and my imaginary many-pillowed-bed my laptop.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      A tree house you say? Well, that changes everything. I would live in a tree house with indoor plumbing and a balcony on which to stand so I could hear my suitors whilst they play “In Your Eyes” on the boom box held over their heads. I wonder if I could get them to deliver Thai food to me at the tree house as well, you know, since they’re already traveling all that way.

  6. I think I will choose to be a country mouse only because of the project scenario. I do like to hike and fish, but I would be less diverted from the task at hand.

    Can my remote location be on a tropical island instead of the mountains? No substitutions, huh. Oh well….

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      It’s funny that you mention the tropical island scenario because I almost substituted that for the cabin in the mountain, but it seemed to make the choice way too easy. In the doldrums of winter I figured many people would want to go to a sunny beach, distractions or not.

  7. See, at first, the Country Mouse option appeals to me, but then I think… “Alone? In the mountains? All by myself?” And then I start thinking about pyscho killers and crazed mountain lions and “Into the Wild” type scenarios where I want to get back to civilization but I just can’t because I’m trapped in the Blair Witch Woods…

    But if I could have a charming housekeeper, I probably wouldn’t worry about any of that.
    So, Country Mouse.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Psycho killers and mountain lions would freak me out, too. So would the mosquitos and snakes. It would have to be a relatively skeeter-free and snake-free zone for me, even with a charming housekeeper. But then again, making s’mores outside under a canopy of stars would be pretty sweet.

  8. Hands down, I’d choose the country retreat. I live in the suburbs, surrounding by homes, but also cocooned for long winters here in Canada. I hope to one day have a writing cabin in the woods. For me,it would be heaven to be surrounded by nature as I write.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      The serenity of being surrounded only by nature has it’s distinct advantages – fresh air, less noise, beautiful vistas, and an outdoor playground for when you need a break. *sigh* All of you country mice are sure convincing. 🙂

  9. I dunno, Tami. I think a cabin in the mountains would have plenty of distraction, too. In a bustling metropolis, I could take my laptop with me to the sidewalk cafe, enjoy latte, delectable sweets and complimentary WiFi, with an option to people watch for inspiration.
    In the mountains, I could pack a picnic, find a cozy spot near a stream and listen to nature for inspiration, but have no plug handy when the batter on laptop goes kaput.
    Put me down as undecided. No, put me down as ‘plant self in office, locked door and a stocked mini-bar, er, fridge stocked with nutritious brain food, when a deadline looms.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      The sidewalk cafe with it’s delicious coffee and WiFi and stupendous people watching opportunities all makes a strong case in favor of the city apartment. I agree, the cabin is not without it’s distractions: “Oh, I wonder where this trail leads to…” or “I’ll just take a quick swim in the lake and then get down to work…” or “Wow. That’s one gorgeous sunset. Where’s my camera?” In the end, it might not matter where I make my office because I can be distracted by the slightest of things, so says the woman still on the internet instead of writing… 😉

  10. Anywhere there’s no access to the internet, cuz meeting a deadline is that much harder if I have access to SongPop. So, there…

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      The internet is evil that way, isn’t it? NaNo was good for me in that it held me accountable to a daily word count which meant no time for frivolous internet surfing. I haven’t been as disciplined with myself since then as I’d hoped.

  11. Great question, and not actually too far from a real choice for me. From where I live, I could surround myself with city or country in an hour’s time, any time. What a great thought that is.

    I think I’m with the concensus, though. The country cabin is the best choice for me. Resources and distractions and excitement are idea-makers… but when it’s time to sit down and do it, I need quiet. 🙂

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      How lucky you are to have both settings so easily accessible! Resources and excitement can certainly be idea makers or distractions depending on how you look at it. Right now, I think my biggest distraction is the internet. 😉

  12. on ,
    Eljay Hilyard said:

    I am a country mouse, although I Iive in the rural midwest and not the mountains. I decided a long time ago I could get what I wanted from the city by brief visits than what I wanted from the country in a weekend.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Sounds like you’ve got a scenario that works well for you – the best of both worlds. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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