So we stayed up all night Thursday because we were flying out Friday morning at 8am and landing in Paris at 8am. We stayed up because we wanted to be awake when we got there. The problem with this plan is that a couple hours after we landed was a long train ride to Nice. Sleeping on the plane and the train didn’t work as well as we’d/I’d hoped. And when we got to Nice at 5pm I was TIRED. Did you do the math? We traveled a total of 24 hours, man that’s rough. (France is 9 hours ahead of SF).
The train portion of our traveling involved switching trains at Marsielle, which was slightly confusing because we didn’t see many signs. So I approached a woman and said “pardon,” then had a slight panic because I was about to straight out ask in English but remembered my manners and first asked if she spoke English instead. It was a little scary in a way, because I didn’t want to seem rude and it happened so fast I was afraid I’d forgotten how to say things in French. She did speak English and the train in front of us was the right one.
When we arrived the apartment owners were about an hour late to meet us, so we hung out at the corner bar below it – our first true encounter with French people (aside from the woman by the train). It actually went quite well, even though they didn’t speak a lot of English. We tried to call the apartment people and the bar owner and two of his regulars offered their phones. Super nice and helpful, though we were missing one digit in the number.
After the owners finally showed up and we settled into the large, gorgeous apartment, we showered and went out for dinner. The place we ended up at was just a block away and the food was pretty good. We followed all the advice we’d gotten – beginning the encounter with a heart-felt “bonsoir!”. And we all made an attempt to order in French, but the waitress caught on pretty quickly that we did not speak French well and started speaking to us in English.
Shortly after dinner we were ready to collapse, and we did. Slept about 11 hours I believe.