|Location: 'Le Faubourg Montmarte', Nice|
|Local time: Tuesday, 12:45pm|
Well, Nice ain't so bad. I guess it's all about what you make of it huh? I've met some cool people and had some good times, and all of a sudden this big, hot, crowded city doesn't seem so bad.
I arrived in France from Brighton at around midnight, and was unable to contact my mate whom I was supposed to stay with, so found a hostel around the corner from the train station and stayed there. And I haven't left yet. The two old ladies running the place are cute in their own way, and they're good for me to practice my french with. One of them must've taken a liking to me, so gave me a better deal than the standard. Thus I'm now in a small 'apartment' with Eduardo from Honduras (who works in the hostel and lives there for free). €300 a month, and it's got AC (oh boy is it hot hot hot here at the moment). And yesterday I managed to hook up a great apartment through a friend, for the end of next month. Sweet.
I finally have my first paid gig next Friday, at a very popular bar in the old city. And I've had some daywork on a sailboat and a megayacht (which gifted to me an old traditional dutch bicycle), so that's kept me going for a bit. I'm supposed to be joining a full band soon, as their drummer. They have a drumkit for me, a practice room, and some potential gigs lined up. Looking forward to that. So far I've played solo at about six venues around the city, which was enjoyable. Not paid gigs, just a song or five during the main act's break (always a full 4 or 5-piece band). It was a full house each time, but they always seemed to appreciate the songs I chose. At one place I finished up with the crowd chanting "Kiwi Chris, Kiwi Chris", which left me buzzing for a bit. All good fun.
Yesterday evening I went to St. Tropez with a South African friend. I took my guitar and played in the famous port, outside the megayachts, while he had dinner with a rediculously rich friend of his. It was kinda funny standing on the dock there singing my lungs out, while the tourists with their cameras oggled Pamela Anderson as her and her entourage partied on the back of her boat. The whole scene there is completely rediculous. Plastic. A "pissing contest", as my mate likes to eloquently put it. Rich nasty old men walking hand-in-hand with stunning, augmented models with their asses hanging out, looking like expensive hookers (which in a way they are); Daddy's-little-rich-boys doing 'laps up the main' in their Ferraris and Mercs, and everybody strutting around in Versace or D&G and thinking they're the dog's bollocks. What a circus. Later my mate's friend (a Notary from Belgium, obviously doing rather well for himself) took us out to The Cave - apparently the club of clubs, inside the very swanky Hotel Byblos - where we partied and mingled with these plastic idiots. Thank God I wasn't buying the drinks, because at €24 for a rum and coke, I'd only be able to afford the slice of lime. Mr Belgian Notary spent the equivalent of two months of my rent, on drinks alone. I felt like saying "look, just give me the money and I'll go grab some tap water from the bathrooms". Oh well. My friend and I felt completely out of the place the entire night, but it was a good laugh nonetheless.
So now I'm back in Nice, living euro-to-euro, hand-to-mouth. And I'm just as happy as any of those guys.
Part of the old city.
Looking down the street from my bedroom window.
The Basilique Notre Dame.
Blockhead. Not sure what this guy represents, but it's an interesting monument nonetheless.
An artificial waterfall sitting high over the city.
Looking out at Nice from the waterfall.
Part of Nice's main beach, along Promenade des Anglais. Always jam-packed.
Solway Maid - the classic yacht I dayworked on, and was also offered a crew job.
(I turned the position down though, thinking €1000/month + food & accommodation was not really enough.)
Apoise - the 3-month-old 67m (220ft) megayacht I dayworked on last week.
Taking time out from polishing miles and miles of stainless steel.
Sitting in the train playing my 'new' guitar that I found in Antibes. It had been lying beside a cafe
all day and nobody had claimed it. I asked the staff about it, left a note, then gave it a new home.
It's got a fair bit of tape holding it together and doesn't hold its tuning so well, but the electrics on it
still work (it's an electric/acoustic). I played my new axe in the train station while waiting to return
to Nice, and received a round of applause for my rendition of George Michael's 'Faith'. Hurrah!
Kim, Susan, and Rob - friends I met up with in Antibes. They forced me to drink far too much beer
in the sun with them. It was horrible.
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