>le grand tour
>Nice is dazzling, and everything you’d expect a mediterannean resort city to look like. azur waters, cyan skies, flowing palm trees, bustling cafés, spirited shops of the richest qualities, and sumptuous baroque 18th and 19th century italian apartments and façades. the colours are vibrant like venice, but i know france has an unwaivering hold on my imagination.
imagine yorkville everywhere. my inexpensive youth hostel is tastefully sandwiched between a louis vuitton and an emporio armani.
the sidewalks have hexagonal plates and each lamp post is ornate with hanging flowers of every fragrance and bloom. and while the tourism here is just as stifling as the other cities, i am delighted by the resounding français i hear all around me.
i decided, once again, to get the bus tour out of the way, even though i was doused in fatigue. Le Grand Tour, il s’appelle, is the same brand as paris’ L’Open Tour, and shakespearian voices retell the history of nice’s millenia. founded by greeks as an economic and militaristic vantage point, the gallo-roman ruins adorn Castle Hill which we mounted for the most spectacular view of villas climbing the rough hills that my train bulldozed through on the way here. the ancient ports that were never fully realized have now been championed by lavish boats and yachts that stretch to paradise with celebratory money, no doubt.
the city became under french territory during napoleon III and italy was aghast, but when les anglais riches on decidé de séjourner ici durant les mois d’hiver dans les 17eme, 18eme, et 19eme siécles, Nice, named after the greek word for “victory”, grew to its sumptuousness that i am now saturated in.
i walked along the stoney côte d’azur and made promises to sunbathe for 8 years of lost time. then i sat on the patio of Chez Maitre Pierre on chic Rue Massena, and watched sunglassed blonde women stroll by in expensive earrings, pigeons hop along the hexagon plates, and an old ukelele player amuse the diners at Pizza Cresci in front of me. the warm blanket of nicean breezes is such a relief from the cold slap of budapest, vienna, and paris. venice was hot, but somewhat dead in my heart.
my body is shrinking with vigourous activity and lack of nourishment of my european extravaganza, so last night, as mes collicatrices et moi went out to vieux nice to bask in the Über galmourousness of french riviera nightlife,i simply couldn’t wait, for the first time in my entire life, to slip that bathing suit on.
and, go figure, it’s raining today.
the sun peek-a-booed for a couple hours, and i lapped up as much colour as my olive skin could absorb, but then ran for the shelter of the casino awnings as the rain pelted straight down in fat globs that no wind pressed through.
how appropriate to my day, given that i had a scream fest with the employees here this morning. the situation wasn’t the problem, their attitude was.
this is a civilization in decline. if this was toronto, these people would be out of a job.
wouldn’t you know it, i ended the argument with, “you’re a fucking retard.”