Sunday, 10 October 2010

MEET THE NEIGHBOURS

I went to bed two hours ago, having been falling asleep on my feet.   I wrote all day before meeting a girlfriend for a drink at a rooftop bar, walked home and crashed. Actually managed to fall asleep, too, despite the neighbours - whose bedroom backs onto mine - watching a VERY LOUD sci-fi film in bed.  Then ten minutes later WHOA!!!  The Martians had apparently crash-landed onto their bedside table, and awake I was once again.


And so I'm here in my blog.  (Not before STOMPING about and SHOUTING random CURSE words through the bedroom wall. MERDE!!!)


These neighbours are young, a thin boy and a plump girl.  He has few social graces and not much brain, she has charm and intelligence.  I hope he appreciates her.


Well, he seems to in bed.  Quite often.  The apartment block was built in the 20s, and the walls are thin.  I won't say much about their love-making, other than she is known in my apartment as Monkey Woman, whose vocal enjoyment of the coital process stretches to such ultrasonic frequency that it would unsettle dogs.


Upstairs is a sour-faced old man, whom I always seem to run in to no matter what time of day or night I'm in the communal areas.  Two floors beneath me is a gorgeous guy, who's just bought his apartment, and who completely renovated it (it took weeks) before moving in with his young daughter.  He's very charming, and I'm hoping to run into him a bit more...


There is a bar across the road from my apartment.  It's not like an English bar, people don't sit in it, and as far as I can see they don't drink either, they merely stand outside and SHOUT at each other.  In the summer one customer brought his young kid with him - every night - whom he routinely ignored every time the child yelled - yelled - PAPA!!! at the top of it's stratospherically high-octave voice.  Which was three times every two seconds.


Along the street there is a Spar, outside which there sits a bearded, long-haired, middle-aged man, all day, every day, a receptacle for donations set in front of him.   He reads constantly; magazines and books, all looking like erudite material.  At night he can be found in the bar twenty feet along the way, spending the days' takings on beer and cigars.


There are a lot of beggars in Nice.  One woman used to sit on Jean Medecin, the main shopping street, with a giant white rabbit.  Only the rabbit doesn't make an appearance any longer.  Another - mad-looking - man sits outside Monoprix during the day, and on the main tourist street in the evenings.  He's had a change of dog recently.  The government gives more money to the homeless if they have animals, so you do the maths...


The are many eccentric (polite term) inhabitants of this city.  A most memorable example is one particular woman, very thin, impeccably-dressed in immaculate mini-skirts, tight, off-the-shoulder leopard-print tops, extraordinarily high platform shoes, who sports long blonde hair, jet-black false eyelashes and Very Bright Red Lipstick Indeed.  Sounds OK?  Yes, until you see that she's actually 112 years old.


A friend and I watched her down on the Promenade one day, strutting along with tiny steps as best she could in those scary heels, before launching herself without a moment's hesitation into the road.  No looking left and right and left again for oncoming traffic, she just walked.  Cars blew their horns, screeched to a halt and waited for her reaction.  There was none.  She just continued to look straight ahead and took her own time - roughly thirty seconds - to teeter across both lanes and continue on her way to la la land.


Welcome to Nice. The place where the people are thick-skinned, the walls are thin, and nobody sleeps.




***




Hours sleep:   0.6


Swear words:  497


Impure thoughts about the gorgeous man two floors below:  Mind your own business









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Please be nice, but not funnier than me. Thanks.