Chapter 11:Nice is pretty nice.

Trip Start Apr 27, 2008
1
12
Trip End Jun 03, 2008


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Where I stayed

Flag of France  , Provence,
Sunday, June 1, 2008

We left Rome and caught a train to Florence, arriving at about 9pm with a night train to catch at 11;30. (We decided to nip out and try to find David (ie naked statue guy) while we could, so we went, mapless, in the general direction of the town, making up sme Italian along the way to ask passing strangers where David was. I am fairly sure some wandering British women thought he was a real guy, and said they didnt know him and they were probably too old for him anyway....there I was saying, um, nope Im fairly sure he is older than you...they proceeded to walk to the train station in the opposite direction of where it was actually located...hope they found it eventually. Anyway we took some photos and walked some random streets before we managed to locate the statue of David, took some pictures, grooved a bit to the music in the square and on meandering out, found a bookstore. Andy got Harry Potter 6 (in essence a brick, but passes the time in long journeys (plus the plot is excellent) and I got a book about Jane Austen novels, a recently discovered hobby. Its called BEING ELIZABETH BENNETT if you wanted to know. Anyway we got a delicious sandwich and some Mac for dinner, which was the only thing open. May I say here that Mac is frequently dodgy, but is to be avoided at all costs near closing time, when the chips are cold and dry and its really in general more like Hamburger Hill than a restaurant.
Well we got on the train. Thus began the weirdest, most uncomfortable experience of our lives. Well, no weve had worse actually, but it was definitely the most bizarre. There was a nice Australian girl in our compartment when we got there and we had only paid for "reclining chairs" (usually bus style in our extensive experience) but we were in a compartment for six people, three small chairs on each side, facing each other. So, Andy and I sat by the window, facing each other. There was about six inches between our knees. After about half an hour two French women got in and sat at the side close to the door, so the Australian girl was in the middle with an empty chair across from her. It was about a half hour after that that we discovered the chairs could slide forward and meet in the middle, to make a bed, almost. I mean, a kind of wonky one, quite short and with nothing by way of comfort. Also it was pretty much only wide enough for one regular sized butt. Plus on our one the rubbish bin thing kind of stuck out, restricting our movement considerably. This would still be mildly acceptable but for the fact that there were now two of us, facing each other on the bed-like contraption and both staring at each others legs wondering how to best contort ourselves in order to be able to fit. Literally. This is no exaggeration. If you were there you would have laughed, and frankly we were a bit too much in shock to remember to take a pciture. So anyway. There were five of us, all kind of giggling and gasping and raising our eyebrows at the mere invention of this crazy excuse for a sleeping arrangement. We were all very glad we were there with girls....until the train stopped and there was a knock on our compartment door. We had closed the curtains and turned off the lights in the vain desperate hope that no one else would come, alas...
In came an Indian guy with a name I forgot as soon as he was finished pronouncing it. He was so creepy. The Australian girl readjusted her chair and the guy sat down. He kept flirting with the French girl who couldnt really understand his English so just kind of ignored him...we all tried to sleep though the guy stared at us and when he didnt, the light reflected off his glasses so it LOOKED like he was. I have a vague memory of him talking to me and calling me New Zealand in the middle of the night and also several unpleasant memories of waking up and finding his feet uncomfortably close to my head, and at all of those times I just focused on my happy place and turned on my other side to wake up whichever leg was on the bottom, even if I wriggled my toes I would wake andy up and she would have to assess which parts of her body were numb and reposition herself accordingly. In the subsequent conversation, inevitably something along the lines of :are u ok? um..yeah...you? I cant feel my arm. hhahaah, ouch siggh I would picture laughing about it tomorrow together and drift back into some kind of hellish oblivion, embracing the icy fingers of death. BUT!
Nice! The south of France! How awesome to be in such a famous holiday destination! Mr Bean himself famously holidayed in Cannes, and we were lucky enough to stay with our friend Jerem there and try to hit the beach!! Unfortunately the weather there was not ideal, a bit overcast and windy, but what can you do? GO ANYWAY!! We had a great time, thanks Jerem! And also the Darcy hotel, possibly wins a Dundie for the worst hotel experience of our trip!!! But we still stayed there because it was called Darcy! Hahaha
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