Bonjour de France

France |

Bonjour mes amis…    Well actually it’s bon soir since I’m writing this close to midnight from Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Cote D’Azur where life is treating me very well.  My French school is intense but very good.   Somehow I made it into an intermediate class (the most basic intermediate class) – which must have been totally based on my aural and writing skills because my verbal test was a disaster.    Every time I opened my mouth out came Spanish.  The teacher kept saying “le francais, le francais, pas de espangol!!!”.    Anyway one week in, I am slowly starting to speak a little – which is critical since we’re only allowed to speak French at the school all day so breaks are a little challenging.

For the most part the school is full of interesting people and, luckily, I really like my room-mate. And I love my apartment…it is right in the heart of the old village, amongst the restaurants and shops and one block from the water.    For those of you who know my distaste for domestic chores, you’ll be surprised to learn that my favourite part of the apartment is the washing line.   It’s one of those ones outside the little balcony off the kitchen and I can’t wait to hang my clothes out there this weekend and feel like a little old European lady!

LIfe after school usually consists of a swim at the beach and dinner with others here.    The beach is as you would expect – full of beautiful brown young things but it has inspired me and I’m feeling a lot healthier than 10 days ago (when I was 80% red wine!).  However, I’m surprised the beaches are rocky and wouldn’t rate highly in the rest of the world.   The other notable thing about the beach is that your likelihood to sunbathe topless seems to be directly correlated to your age and weight.  Meaning that you are much more likely to be topless if you are old and fat! A little disconcerting…

But the location really is gorgeous…today a few of us did a 3 hour hike around the coast of the Cap Ferrat peninsula – home to the rich and famous.    And yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon in Nice with lots of jazz musicians on the streets, ending the day with a local street food specialty called socca (a chickpea flour crepe served by itself and ripped roughly into pieces) and a glass of rose.   All for 5 euros.  I highly recommend socca at any price!!

Speaking of good food, my whirlwind stop in London comprised two great meals and great company at Otto Lenghi in Islington and La Fromagerie in Marylebone. In case anyone is looking for restaurants in London.

Anyway…that has been my life for the last week.  Hard to believe that it is only 9 days since I left Canada. It feels like a lot has happened in that time. More soon.

– Nikki


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