Bonjour! (I have mastered the right accent to say good morning and the cheek kissing ritual to greet people.)
It’s been almost a month that I have been in France and so far it has been an enriching experience. However, I would like to share some early glitches that I faced in the first week of stay here.
Blame my ignorant research skills that I landed on the Nice airport without any euro change in my pocket. All I had was big euro bills and three suitcases that I simply could not drag out by myself. In Europe, you need a euro or something to unlock the luggage trolley at the airport to carry your luggage out. I didn’t know this and couldn’t find a place where I could exchange the bills for some coins. (Wait, I wish they knew about demonetisation! We Indians only carry cards or Paytm it now :p). Anyways, I met a helpful gentleman at the airport and he helped me finding a trolley that was surprisingly unlocked. Voila!
My lovely host( I won’t elaborate here much, as my next blog would talk about them), were waiting for me at the airport and soon I was at my small and cozy suite apartment in Nice. Time for another glitch! The charging sockets in France are different and my mobile and laptop charger just won’t fit. I arrived on Saturday and wasn’t able to move out as it was raining cats and dogs, but went on Sunday morning with my host to look for adapters at the nearby supermart. Adding to my woes, not even one single adapter fitted my requirement. Finally, on Monday again thanks to my host, who went to three different shops, I was able to find two different adapters for my laptop and mobile. (The social media addict in me just did a jive).
“With knowledge of an extra language, you’re home everywhere.”
I couldn’t agree more with the quote above. I had attempted learning French before coming here, but let’s say I was a bit lazy to continue it in a serious way. Thankfully my lessons at university in Monaco are English, but for other things like public transport, grocery shopping and decoding the French menu at the local cafe, I wish I had learned French!(The other day I got lucky and this sweet french waitress got me the most amazing fish & chips after I feared to have something raw on my plate!) These days I spend good 45 minutes at the supermart trying to find the right products with the help of a translator app on my phone. Thank god for technology! Though I still have a problem asking for directions and names of the places because the french people clearly don’t understand the English pronunciation of French names.
So that’s about my first week in France. A little help with technology and friendly pedestrians, I have settled into the routine of traveling by train from Nice to Monaco, grocery shopping (it’s clearly my favorite part these days! So many different types of products, love it!) and exploring places on my own.
P.S. The blue waters and the view of French Riviera is to die for! ❤