THOUGHTS ON NICE, PRAWNS, A RUDE WOMAN, AND CIGARETTES ON MY BUS

Guess what I decided to do my last day in Nice? It’s an easy guess, I promise!

Sunbathe, of course!!! Yesterday was perfect for it. Sunny cloudless baby blue sky and oh such warm weather. This time around I went to the nearby Opera Beach. I contemplated going to Monaco but the thought of leaving all my stuff at the hostel and having to go back made me get anxiety. So yeah, I hung out at the busy public beach. There are two beaches once you get there. One is just rocks and the other has umbrellas and comfortable seating. The only problem is that this comfort would have cost me €17… Out of the question.

I may have fallen half asleep and got sunburnt, but I got the most I could out of the Mediterranean climate. I hope I turn bronze soon enough. To end my adventure, or rather my quite leisurely stay in Nice, I went to the first restaurant I saw open… You have to remember it was a Sunday and French people take their Sundays seriously.

A Sunday moving slow at Massena Place in Nice

Da Fiavo had outdoor seating so of course I went for it. After all the sunbathing, I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the bus station at the airport, so I ordered a cappuccino. Great choice. The cappuccino came out looking like this:

It was just as good as it looks!

I was excited to see calamari on the menu because I’ve been craving it since the day before. I don’t think I fully understood what I ordered. On second thought, I definitely had no idea what I ordered. When my dinner came, little tiny cute black eyes were staring at me… The waitress said, “Is this okay?” With just a tad bit of hesitation, I said, “Yes… Yes, of course!!!”

I think I just got a little bit startled. The three prawns in my royal ensemble of seafood goodness were completely new to me and I was just a tad apprehensive to try them out. How did I not realize I was ordering calamar, prawns, and grilled zucchini? However, I’m so happy that I went with this choice. Once you take the prawn out of its shell, a heavenly tender and slightly sweet meat awaits you. Screw shrimp! Plus, everything here in the region is extremely fresh. The French do not mess around with their seafood or food in general that is. Seeing that it was just my first-time eating prawns, I wonder how they will compare to those back home.

The calamar was slightly breaded—extra wonderful. I know for a fact calamari does not taste this good back in Cleveland and neither does the zucchini. It was breaded just a teeny tiny bit and I ended up loving it. It’s strange because I’m typically not a zucchini girl. Fruits and vegetables just taste better in the French Riviera. Much better. Period. The strawberries I had were so sweet I literally think my life had been changed. The three elements combined with the mayo and herb-based sauce on the side (according to my waitress) were fantastic! My only complaint was the overabundance of arugula on the plate which completely detracted from easily accessing everything on the already crowded plate. Oh, and please make sure you utilize the lemon… It’s never the same without the lemon!

Speaking of crowded… I am still on the overnight bus to Munich, Germany. There was no one sitting with me initially, so yes of course I will sprawl out and go to sleep. I heard it faintly, but I knew we were stopping in Milan. This woman woke me up and instead of taking her selfish ass to her window seat, she decided to startle the shit out of me as she sat down in my seat and tried doing something more to it than just push it back. This woman thought it extended onto the aisle! How long would it take one to figure out that there is no way it does? For a couple minutes I thought she was claiming my seat. I was fully awake and it was 2 am!!! I don’t know what she was thinking… Maybe that this bus was first class on a plane.

I sat back down pissed off. At this point she wasn’t only taking more than 50% of the space allotted to us, she was also highly unapologetic. I turned on my very beautifully warm Mighty Bright lamp, clamped it to my book, and picked up where I left off. She started freaking out asking me to turn it off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How dare she!?!?!? She said, “I HAVE A RESERVATION” and kept going on and on and on. I told her that I have a reservation too and that she woke me up… And maybe we exchanged a few more words because I definitely remember using English and Polish just in case, she would understand something other than German.

I finally went back to bed around 4:30 am and slept until we got to Austria around 7 am. Wanna hear something HILARIOUS!?!? This WOMAN has one of those SLEEP BEAUTY EYE MASK THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And she DARED to tell me to put my Mighty Bright light out saying it’s “TOO BRIGHT!” Are you kidding me!?

I’m appalled by the little amount of sleep I have been able to get here on the bus. It seemed promising, but with the arrival of this selfish lady, there was little hope for comfort. At the very least once we got to Austria, the views of the mountains were spectacularly gorgeous. I wish I made a stop in the Alps along the way, but there was only so much I could see within one summer. I shall return in the winter.

An interesting happening just occurred. We were crossing the German border and actually had to show our passports to the Polizei. It surprised me mostly because it hasn’t happened the whole time I’ve been in Europe. Not when I travelled from London to Amsterdam or Amsterdam to Paris. It also did not happen crossing the border to Italy from France and from Italy to Austria.

The police officers were particularly concerned with a gentleman sitting a couple of seats behind me. Apparently, he didn’t have the proper identification. We stayed at the border for quite a bit of time. The really lovely older bus drivers went outside for a cigarette break and so I followed with my Google Translate tool. I do have to note right here right now that I am sitting in the front and have seen one of the gentlemen smoke a cig on the bus. That would so not fly back in the United States.

I asked one of them if this always happens at the German border and the answer was yes, that it always does. Of all the countries in the European Union, Germany has been hit with the largest amount of migrants so this strict border control is not surprising.

Anyways, the man was let go and we are on our way again. I hope that after the very little of horrific sleep I was able to get, I am ready to explore Munich.

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