Have I told you how very good I am at laughing and crying simultaneously? Just ask travel buddy Jen about a certain Qantas windscreen crack. Slapping didn’t work. Alcohol did. Reduced the maniacal mayhem to a mere tic. Sans savior, slap and G&T, today required digging deep. Really, really deep!
‘Shhh! Listen to me signora, zis is not direct! You eez on zer wrong train’ said the Italian conductor. Bitch slap or bless? And so close to the French Alps too. ‘You go back to Genoa en swap platform to zee Ventemiglia and from there zee Nice-Ville eh?’
All monitors down, Nice-Ville platform determined by rolling the dice. It’s now 10.50pm. Follow the three Columbians and a hapless local onto the only lit train. Local whizzes off to confirm, returns with wine, five cups and a pizza. ‘Aperitif must accompany wine’. We concur. We bond. Local hops off at Monaco (ah ha!), me at Villefranche sur mer, the Columbians continue rolling the dice on the likelihood of making it to Cannes in time for 9am French class.
Apartment greeter text –‘Too late to greet you but le door she unlocked ok?’ Nope. Door firmly locked. Kicking didn’t help. Italian SIM simultaneously says ‘Bugger off Mizz, you in zer wicked Frenchie land now, we spit on you!’ Now 11.45pm. More deep bonding, this time with 12 restaurant patrons who text, phone and email greeter on my behalf. No response. Twelve more footprints on Le Door. ‘Hôtel le plus proche s’il vous plaît?’
Welcome to the ‘Welcome’ Hotel! Greeter text – ‘So sorry! I no get message, I refund you ‘otel oui?’ It’s 1.20am, night is but a pup. I respond with ‘How nice of you, merci, bon nuit.‘ as I snuggle into €375 worth of fluffy pillows, CNN TV, air con luxury of a very cosy Biggles themed room (a whole other story).
Manners darling, manners. Good night.