Saturday, July 29, 2017

Clash of cultures....

                       Breakfast of roast gecko , no seriously, doesn't look like oatmeal to me.

Sorry, Blogspot has a font problem that they can't help me solve so put your glasses on.  Can any of you help me with this?

Summer has taken a new intensity here in the South of France with some light breezes each day but with "killer" heat.  It will hover around 90  F. all this week.  

To try to beat the heat and because I am not a great swimmer, my days have been starting un-habitually early with a walk/run....out of the sun and away from the crowd.

 Last year I did yoga and Pilates but it's not enough. I don't like sheduled appointments that break up the morning either. If I do one thing it will be to walk.  The secret to my new regime however is that I don't go every day and if I am tired when I get back I go back to bed for another hour's sleep. 

 At the crack of dawn there is a special culture out there.    There are the cleaning crews for the Promenade des Anglais, a truck to spray the beach and sidewalks and guys who take up the trash. 

 Until recently there were the workers re-surfacing the Promenade sidewalks and bike lanes but that has slowed somewhat since the Homage on Bastille day.   That day the city was immaculate for visiting dignitaries and attendees of the all day ceremonies honoring the victims of last year's terrorist act.   President elect Emmanuel Macron, François Holland and Nicholas Sarkosy were in attendance as well as many Niçois. 

Until that day the sidewalks were a mess of buildings, wire, fences and debris while the work was progressing to remake the Promenade safer and more beautiful.    I would often run past a crew passing buckets of tar before five am. 

So besides the workers early in the morning there are a few people speeding somewhere on their bikes or scooters.  Maybe I pass 5 or 6 of them in 45 minutes.  I just wish they would do their biking in the "piste de velo" instead of on the sidewalk. 

 But hey, we are in France where signs and laws are only a suggestion and rebellion is in the blood.  

 And there are the runners and the walkers like me, about 5-10 of us depending how long one stays out.  And there is at least one regular  walker older than I, a woman in her 80's I would guess.  I think she is there every day. 

And the kids getting out of the night clubs, alone or in a gang, let's not forget them.  They are often loud, loud...walking it off ,  goofing around or weaving down the sidewalk.  The trick is to do the "run" part of walk/run past them. 

On our corner at Av de Fabron there is often a long, tall transexual with excellent legs, short skirts and golden tresses.  The lips are definitely "Jessica Rabbit" although even with filler how does he gets them to protrude so.... and glisten!   

And there are a few "ladies of the evening" on various corners as one progresses towards town.  

This morning two of my exotic morning cultures came together  with a question from a young man/ boy who stopped me while I was slowing down to cross the Prom to ask discreetly: "Avez- vous vu la prostituée?"  

"Non, j'ai pas vu ce matin. " 

I think he was asking about the Jessica Rabbit lipped "Trannie" who is usually at that corner.   But seriously,  can you see this exchange being anything but unusual in the States?  Not where I come from....anyway.  

 "Merci, Madame" says the lad.   The French, you will find, have quite nice manners.  

On the way home I was suddenly aware of my quick response ...I amaze myself sometimes.