Tomorrow a gang of us are going to Nice for a holiday. Five days in the South of France by the sea for a bit of vin, homme and chanson. It'll be fun. Or will it? You see I don't really know Nice very well. I remember passing through there only briefly when I was backpacking round France in my tender teenage years but I never really stayed long enough to explore the place. Is it like Brighton with garlic? Does it have an Old Town? Will it be warm this time of year? Last, but let's face it never least, is there a gay scene there? So have you been to Nice before? Are you perhaps from Nice? What should we do/see there?
It's actually been a while since I've been to France. I used to go there a lot. Heavens, I used to live there for a while. So I'm fairly used to that smell, that attitude and that language. Love then like I do, the French can be frustratingly 'unique'; their food is wonderful, their demeanour less so but their infernal refusal to speak any language but French is most annoying.
Talking of which my French is really quite rusty. I've forgotten so much vocab and so many idioms that I expect I'll be floundering at the first bistro. Languages are like local Post Offices, you lose them by not using them. Certain gallic phrases will no doubt return after a few drinks though. "Une plus de bière, si vous plait" springs to mind and on the culinary side "Est-ce que vous avez du Mayonnaise?" will surely come in handy. Who knows, I might even get a chance to practise, "Ta endroit ou le mien?". Seulement qui vivra verra.