Well, with the author of this blog as ever dedicating her daylight hours to comedy (the hours of darkness are a bit of a bloody joke as well, nice of you to bring it up again), it befell me (an Englishwoman) to enter one such hostelry last weekend with an American, a Canadian and a Polish woman. There was free jazz playing, and we're suckers for
But interesting point. (Hey! The first one since 1984!) My friends here in Nice hail from all over the world. There's a British Greek Cypriot married to a Norwegian (and, funnily enough, a Norwegian married to a British Greek Cypriot...that's a bit of a coincidence), a Cuban married to a Dane (now I come to think of it, I'm also acquainted with a Dane married to a Cuban, well, well, well), a Russian, a couple of Icelandic folk (not married to each other, even slightly), a smattering of Americans (why DO they have to smatter all the time???), some Eastern Europeans, some Western Europeans, a Swedish woman (who seems to be the only person on the planet to understand Swedish - frankly it's all Greek to me), a few Italians...even, possibly, the odd French person (don't tempt me).
It becomes more complicated still when I tell you that the British Greek Cypriot/Norwegian couple are currently living in Qatar (bless you!), whilst the Cuban/Danish pair have settled in Nova Scotia for a bit. (A bit of what, I can't tell you here, children might be looking in). Not to mention the Swedish woman having hared off to Dubai. (Shh! Don't mention it!)
And so here's me, one lonely weekend, left solely with an American, a Canadian and a Polish woman. (I actually met a man the other month - this is true - who told me his ancestry was English, Irish and Scottish...see? Everyone's a comedian!)
Santa (the American, you've met her before in these pages) called me up to tell me about the
'Well,' Santa offered. (Always a bad sign). 'She's a little...erm...avant garde'.
Right. One of those evenings, then.
'And she's always, always late'.
So we waited. It was a clear evening, not too cold, stars twinkling in the black sky.
La la la.
[Feel free to make a cup of coffee at this point, Felicja is going to take a while longer to get here. But make sure you don't spill anything onto the keyboard when you get back. They're a bugger to dry out.]
Seen any good films lately???
Oh! Here she is now!
From external appearances, Felicja didn't look that avant garde. Two arms, two legs, nose in the right place (Picasso might have had to rearrange her features a little to include her in one of his efforts), a ready smile. And a hearty laugh. More of which later.
Finally, we found Veronica (the Canadian), and, having the full joke quota, entered the bar.
The jazz was very good. A trio: singer and rhythm guitar, guitar and double bass. Three sets, a real bargain for the price. (Erm, that is, had there been a price, which there wasn't. But then, that depends on what the price would have been, had there been one, as to just how much of a bargain it would have been...gosh, life is complicated. I blame the Euro).
But, whilst the music was great, even better entertainment was Felicja. She speaks no English whatsoever - which is fine, this is France, after all - but while she's lived in Nice for 14 years, her French accent can best be described as 'Polish' (don't try this at home; nobody will be able to understand a sodding word you say), and she bursts out into very loud, raucous laughter every 13 seconds.
Santa looked at me. I looked at Santa. Santa looked at Veronica. Veronica looked at me.
(Why me??? I wasn't the one looking at her!!!)
'Would you like to try my Guinness?' Santa generously offered Felicja.