Monday, September 05, 2005

Nice diary

  • Lufthansa flight from Bangalore to Frankfurt over-booked. Free upgrade to business class for me!

  • They had given me the normal economy class boarding pass at check-in, and switched the ticket during boarding and told me there is a seat change. I told the guy I had asked for an aisle seat and now they were giving me a window seat. He replied that it was a business class upgrade; do I want to decline it? I grabbed the ticket and fled before he could say anything else. The unrestricted view from the business class window seat was amazing. And free champagne – unfortunately I don’t drink.

  • French are obsessive about their bread, water and wine

  • Extremely lucky to have a great bunch of colleagues in Nice, they ensured that I visited a new place every evening, ate at a different restaurant every night and guided me so that I could visit maximum places in and around Nice

  • Two Lamborghinis and a red Ferrari parked outside the Carlton in Cannes. All with Saudi number plates. Apparently, the oil rich sheiks like to bring their cars along on vacation

  • Out clubbing almost ever night and back to the hotel not before 3 AM. Up again at 7 AM for work (in theory, at least)

  • Visited two Salsa clubs in Nice – WOW! Danced Salsa with a French mademoiselle, she said “Merci” or “Mercy” at the end of the dance, not sure which was it

  • Salsa dancers in Nice club (Barrio’s) were amazing. Especially the ladies. They would do multiple turns in a couple of basics effortlessly

  • French dance Salsa with closed hold. I learnt it with open hold. System incompatibility!

  • Dinner in France is longer than an Indian marriage – start at 8 PM, finish at 11 PM. Every day!

  • The French Riviera coast is simply too beautiful. The train ride from Saint Laurent du Var to Vintimillie is absolutely breathtaking

  • Paris metro is too good. I took a 3 day pass and would have taken around 50 metro rides in 3 days

  • Paris is too crowded during summer – average waiting time at Eiffel was half an hour for a ticket. So I walked up till second stage since the queue for that was smaller

  • Stupid people standing in front of priceless paintings at Muses Louvre & Musee d’Orsay and having their pictures taken while showing a “V” sign!

  • Bought books for close to 100 Euros – one from every museum in Paris

  • Liked Musee d’Orsay better than Musee Louvre

  • Went to Italy to have ice-cream (apparently, they make the best ice-cream). There they call it gelato. It’s glace in French

  • Pizza in France is amazing. Couldn’t have it from Italy because of lack of time. Only thin crust pizza available. Apparently thick crust & stuffed crust are Pizza Hut innovations

  • Saw many people play “Petanque” – a French ball game played with steel balls which is kind of similar to the game of marbles played in India.

  • Rs 150 for half a liter of water!

  • Ate scorpion fish. Remember reading somewhere that they are poisonous… But survived nevertheless

  • If you are vegetarian and you see “Fruits de la Mer” on a French menu under Pizza – it means “Fruits of the sea”. A Pizza with clams & oysters & shrimp as topping

  • Very few American or Japanese cars on road. Most cars are French or German

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