31 August 2010

the nice times

So I found myself once again back in Nice, as I had been about 53 weeks prior. I found my way to Hostel Smith- no map required- and when I arrived, I discovered that they have expanded a bit. They've converted an upstairs flat in the building into another room of beds, and some private rooms as well. It was a little bit hectic, but I got my bed (right where Robert the German had slept last year) and decided to head out to H&M. It had been ages, and I wanted to take advantage of the end of the summer sales that usually happen around this time.

Well, much to my surprise, I discovered that the sales had finished, and H&M had already brought in their fall collection. And guess what? I didn't like it very much. For the first time in my life, I walked out of an H&M with nothing more than I'd come in with. I'd never felt so uninspired.

To improve my mood, I crossed the street and grabbed a kebab. The owner gave me a creepy grin and definitely flirted with me a little bit before finally handing over my lunch. "All the boys on the street," he managed in broken English, "watch you." Oh, great. Thank you very much, sir.

I dragged myself back to Hostel Smith, thoroughly disillusioned. There was nowhere left to go but the beach. I found a couple of Brazilians in the beds across from me, and we made a little awkward conversation, but basically it was like, "You're going to the beach, I'm going to the beach, why don't we all go to the beach together?" So we did.

Their names were Luiz and Pedro, and they're studying law for one year in Munich. And they were, you know, Brazilian and handsome, so they made perfect beach accessories. We laid out and took turns swimming out to the buoys and talked about our homelands and our hopes and dreams. They said they were going on a pub crawl that night and told me I should come along. Then they went off to grab something they'd left at their previous hostel, and I fell asleep on the beach.

That night, I had my favourite meal in Nice: a little Pili pizza. This is the place with the 6 euro pizzas, except now it's 6.50, but it's still totally worth it. I got my usual (Provencale) and took it back to the hostel to eat.

I hadn't intended to, but I ended up having no better plans than the pub crawl, so I met the boys at the assigned meeting place. It ended up being myself, the Brazilians, and the two guides (one was Moroccan and the other was a Ukrainian male model). We definitely had fun that night. They were all super nice, and we ended up having heart-to-heart talks down on the beach at 2 in the morning.

The next day I went back to the beach and laid out long enough to get pretty red. That night, I decided I desperately needed some Mexican food, so I went down to the market and bought everything I needed to make guacamole and fajitas (minus the actual spices and tortillas and stuff). Everyone in the hostel was jealous of my improvised guac, and rightfully so. It was exceptional.

That night, it was Wayne's with a cute Canadian couple. Ryan was sweet and bought us drinks, and Sarah acted as my (largely ineffective) wingwoman when I wanted to talk to the fit drummer from the band. She also managed to convince a creepy Italian to creep on me, saying, "But I thought you said you liked him!" Definitely not. I'm out of Italy, I want to be as far from Italians as possible, thank you very much. Then I broke my sandal jumping off of a table.

Item A Thursday morning was to get new sandals. H&M somehow managed to solve that, despite their fall collection rife with can-can inspired pieces. Gag me with a spoon. Then I grabbed another kebab from creepy Pierre and spent the rest of the afternoon taking advantage of the hostel's wifi.

Thursday night called for more improvised Mexican food, some partying on the beach, some Wayne's, and more beach times. I didn't get nearly enough sleep, which meant I was twice as eager to go back to bed the next morning when I looked out the window and saw rain drizzling down. But I had to get to the train station, so I marched 20 minutes in the pouring rain all alone (well, not really, because some Frenchman came up to me and started talking to me, claiming he wanted practice with his English. Right). Then it was trains, trains, trains all the way back to Sanremo, where I made a guest appearance at orientation to gather my group of baby tutors and get them prepped for our first week of work together. It would be me, Tom, Melissa, and Kat together in Valli del Pasubio the next week, teaching red through green book. After that meeting, the returners headed back up the mountain for one last night of house cleaning, mass meals, guitarring, improvised drumming, and just general enjoyment of each other's company until the wee hours of the morning. As a result, we were all passed out on the bus and train the next day. Good times.


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