I’m here in Nice in my sweet apartment (here is my building, it really IS sweet, n’est ce pas?)
and my street:
I’m resting my brain after a long day of French classes yesterday. Today is a holiday here (more on that below) so I have the good fortune to have enjoyed a day off already! Because it is HARD to learn a language at my age my people. I mean REALLY learn it, enough so that you can have an easy conversation. It seems that I have forgotten everything. Imagine being 5 years old, THAT is what I felt like trying to express myself yesterday.
But I am getting ahead of myself! I arrived here in Nice after having spent the night in Paris with my dearest Canadian BFF Jo (I call her ma beatch, what can I say, THAT is how much Je l’aime, despite not being able to understand one f’ing word of her fluent yet foreign to me Québécois French), in her perfect apartment in the 9th that I talked her into renting (yes I take complete credit) for her well-earned, totally deserved year in Paris. Everyone who decides to continue reading my blog after this post will get to know her very well in future posts, so I will get on with my ponderings about Nice and my school.
My apartment is a beautiful 10-15 minute walk
from Idiom: le spécialiste des cours pour adultes. AKA my school (in this awesome building!)
I love it. As I said above, it is HARD! But everyone is super nice (I will refrain from making any further nice/Nice jokes). AND I am the ONLY American in the school right now. Actually, only one of two English speakers (the other Anglaise is a beautiful elderly lady from Dundee, Scotland.) Everyone else is Swiss (predominately) and German.
I spent a grueling hour taking a French test so that they could make sure that I was in the correct class and was placed in a group (B2!!!) with said Swiss, said Scot, and a German, all female of varying ages and super, well, nice (sorry). As were the instructors (toutes les femmes et super sympa aussi). After the sessions ended they had a welcome party and everyone was invited for a traditional Niçoise spread and flowing rosé. In the middle of the afternoon. Ahhhh, France! 😊
In between working HARD on my French I have just taken in all the wonder that is Nice. This is the 4th time I’ve had the privilege to spend time here (blessed BE) and it still enchants. It’s so colorful, vibrant, alive…it feels happy. Nice is a feast for the senses, and I am beyond grateful, made-me-cry grateful, that I have this opportunity to indulge one more time. I walk around humbled, taking in the beauty. It really has taken my breath away at times, and brought me to tears.
I went running this morning, along the prommanade anglais. I was so exhilarated to be here that I didn’t even hate running…
Then I wandered my way toward the Old Town, marching along with my people on the way. It was a manifestation in honor of 1 May. Workers of the World, Unite! I talked solidarity in my broke ass French with a few of my union brothers and sisters. They tolerated me. 🙂 I don’t care, I was uplifted!
I was pretty hungry and smack in the middle of bad pizza land but I stumbled across this gem of a place:
There weren’t many people there when I entered so I was worried, but it soon filled up and I was REALLY glad that I chose it. I had the special, ” Saint-pierre aux cèpes”, which translates as John Dory (a white fish) in a creamy sauce. OMG, the fish was so fresh, and that sauce was SO delicious! Of course I had to have some rosé to accompany my meal. 20 euros total, including a chick pea salad and a small bite of Pissaliediere (kind of like pizza) to start, on the house. Amazing…
Fully sated I walked through the Old Town to the market, the Cours Saleya. It was bustling and full of flower stalls selling lily of the valley bouquets in honor of May Day.
I took the long way around
stopping to laugh at this seagull who was giving all the other birds a piece of his/her mind!
back to the seaside where I had a rest.
then I wandered back through the winding narrow streets of the Old Town toward my hood. I happened upon this beautiful park, and decided to sit again. It was such a beautiful sight, all the families and people out enjoying the day off!
I sat and thought about being here alone. I really hate dining by myself. I truly am an extrovert, I get energy from talking and being around other people. So that’s been a bit hard for me. I know my fellow solo woman warrior travelers, I know you are shaking your heads at me right now, saying but you’ve only been alone for 2 DAYS! HAHAHA! I’m sorry, I can’t help it, I need people! But I’ve also realized since I’ve been here that being somewhere alone also makes you so much more aware of your surroundings, and more attuned to the world around you. It’s been great hearing all the different languages as I walk the streets. I smelled the most wonderful orange blossoms walking through that park. I’m looking around more. I’m seeing that it’s a good thing for me to shut my mouth and just be in the moment for a change. I’m changing.
(To prove my point, I overheard a man say: “ahhh, c’est belle, la fontaine” when I was walking away from here: 🙂
OF course that also means that I have lots of talking stored up, so I look forward to previously mentioned beatch joining me here on Thursday (haha look out Jo I am gonna talk your ear off!). If I behave myself and am capable of waking in time to make my 8AM vocabulary class, my last day of school will be Friday, and Jo and I will, weather permitting, have beaucoup de sun-filled Cote d’Azur adventures ahead of before returning to Paris for part deux of my journey. I hope you will come along!
Until then, I bid you all a fond adieu de Nice. A la prochaine, hons…