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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Igen! I mean... oui.

10:14 pm CET

I've found that sometimes it's incredibly difficult to think straight when English, Spanish, French, and Hungarian are all swirling around in my head...

Anyway, before I write about today, I'm going to write about yesterday:

Yesterday kind of sucked. I feel bad saying it, because I feel like I'm obligated to enjoy myself since I'm fortunate enough to be in Nice, but... yesterday kinda sucked. I left the hotel around ten and walked down the main street, L'avenue Jean-Médecin. There are lots of shops and restaurants and banks and pretty much anything you could ever need. It ends right where Place Masséna begins; it's this huge open square of black and white tiles, fountains, and palm trees. At this point, it had started to rain a little, but I had my umbrella, so I was ok. I continued walking through a small park and made it to the beachside pedestrian walkway, the Promenade des Anglais. The view is lovely, and even in the rain the city maintains its beauty. However, by then it was pouring and--despite having my enormous umbrella--I got completely soaked from head to toe. I was terribly uncomfortable and feeling a little sad at being all alone, and since the winds had picked up and kept blowing my umbrella away, I decided to give up for the day and go back to warm up and get dry (I had been out a few hours; it wasn't too short of an outing). When I got back, I was a wet, cold, lonely, miserable mess, and I ended up sleeping and reading for the rest of the day.

So with yesterday in mind, I was kind of worried about today. But the sun was out in full force, and that alone was enough to make me feel better. I walked back down L'avenue Jean-Médecin and across Place Masséna, where I took a side road to the main court building, Palais de Justice. From there I made my way to Cours Saleya, where there is a huge outdoor market. It mostly consists of stalls selling a wide array of flowers, but there were also plenty of stalls selling everything from fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables to spices to artwork to colourful bars of soap. I didn't buy anything, but it was more than interesting to have a look. The west end of the market opens to the Promenade des Anglais, so I walked along it again, very much loving the view in the clear sky and sunlight. I went down to the rocky beach and sat down, watching people swim and the few sailboats that passed by.

After around twenty minutes of relaxing to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, I got up and climbed the stairs back to the Promenade, which I took all the way around the bend and to the Port. There were so many boats! And some of the yachts moored in the harbour were enormous. A lot of the big ones were from London, and it made me wonder how the trip from there to Nice is. I kept walking and turned back east, looking for the Old Town. I'm not sure if I found it, but I got to Place Garibaldi, which may or may not be in the same area. By then I was starving, so I went in search of a restaurant. Instead I found myself in this system of extremely narrow, Diagon Alley-like pedestrian streets, all interconnected and lined with various shops and cafés. Despite my piqued interest, I didn't buy anything here, either; nor did I stop to eat. I passed a pirate-themed candy shop, though, that I absolutely must find again, or I'll be rather sad.

I finally discovered an exit from the labyrinth of alleys, and it turned out that I was right back where I had started my day: at the Palais de Justice. Since I had my bearings again, I walked back to Place Masséna and found a restaurant for lunch. I had some delicious chicken and duck stir fry and a little teensy coffee after. The waiter was really nice (and kinda cute...), and he spoke English. I gained a bit of confidence, even though I was speaking more "Frenglish" than actual French. I've got the essentials down, though, and that's all that really matters, I guess.

Full and happy, I left the restaurant and made my way back to the hotel, where I relaxed for the remainder of the day. Around 8:00, I left again and walked a little ways down the street and had dinner at this American-style diner (I was craving a burger, ok?! Besides, the burger was an Indian curry burger [which is quite the hilarious contradiction, seeing as how most Indians don't eat beef] and was thus unique and delicious. So there). The waitress was incredibly nice (I'm not sure where this whole "the French are assholes" mentality comes from... maybe the Niçois are just a friendly group of people?) and she also spoke English, but I used as much French as I could, anyway.

Now I'm hanging out in my hotel room gearing down for the night. Tomorrow I'm hoping to catch a train to Monaco... we'll see how that goes!

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