Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Trig Carlo Manche, 33 (Gzira, Malta)

Yesterday, I was up early so I could be ready at 6:30 for the taxi driver who would take me to the airport. Yes, he did show up on time. Was I ready? Not quite, but he was patient and was still there when I finally met him on the street at 6:40.

The taxi driver was a man in his 30’s or perhaps early 40’s. He asked about Trump and agreed that we was getting more crazy every day. After a few moments I asked where he was from originally, since he said he wasn’t born on Malta. He said Libya. Somehow the conversation led to the fact that the U.S. has so many guns owned by its citizens. He then disclosed he had been shot three times in the leg while in Libya. Wow. I wasn’t expecting that. He was able to leave Libya 20 years ago and now is in Malta. I seem to find the most interesting people. I’d never met anyone who had been shot before. He received a nice tip from me once we arrived at the airport.

Fairly uneventful flight from Malta to Rome and then from Rome to Nice. While waiting in the Rome airport I visited the shop where I bought a screen protector for my phone when I was at the airport on the 23rd of March. It had since fallen off. I asked if they could replace it, and the woman who put it on originally, said it fell of because of the case for my phone. It prevented the screen protector was staying attached. Which wasn’t true. My last screen protector worked just fine. She offered me a new screen protector at no cost and I accepted. I’ll ask some other place to put it on for me.

When I arrived at the Nice airport I still hadn’t decided how to get into Nice – bus or taxi. I remembered they had Uber service in Nice so I arranged transportation via my phone. My driver was there in a few minutes and we were on our way to the flat I have rented for the next six nights. My driver grew up in nearby Cannes and told me of the famous people he has seen when the annual film festival happens. He drove along the coast from the airport (because I asked if he could) and we had time to talk and he pointed out places of interest as he drove. He also received a good tip.

When I arrived at the flat I was met by the flat host, Christelle. The place was a bit better than I expected. It is located on the top floor on a building a short distance away from one of Nice’s main streets. The flat is very clean and modern and has a nice view of the hills surrounding Nice. She pointed out where Elton John has a home.

After Christelle left I put on my walking shoes and found a nearby store to buy a few groceries. I also needed a power converter since I seemed to have left mine in Malta. The rather large food market is about a block away from the flat and I found everything I needed. I had to visit two other stores to find the converter, but I quickly found a replacement and was back in the flat soon thereafter.

Once I returned I realized that I had scheduled a phone call with Paula for 6:30. I had just enough time to take a quick nap before we talked. We’re going to try and meet in Scotland or Ireland in August. She will be in England towards the end of May and the first part of June, but she would be willing to fly back so together we could visit the western part of Scotland or Ireland. I’m planning to do some research and we will talk again in a couple of weeks.

I was tired but managed to cook a quick dinner that consisted of a fried chicken breast and boiled potatoes. While watching TV I decided I was still hungry and cut up an apple and orange. I managed to get to bed a little after 11:00. I had scheduled a Segway tour that starts at 10:00. I ended up sleeping very well.

In the morning I had a breakfast of two fried eggs and put each of them into two croissants I purchased the evening before. Think I found a new breakfast while I’m in France.

The Segway office was only a 15 minute walk from the flat and was there shortly before 10:00. I was joined by a family from Ireland. The couple had their two young sons with them and we got along very well as the tour progressed.

What a great day to ride around on a Segway. Sunny, mild temperatures, and a beautiful view of the Mediterranean. It was more of a sightseeing tour rather than a history tour. Since it was a three-hour tour we stopped for coffee and we talked a bit more. Like most taxi drivers I’ve met, I also seem to meet up with interesting people on Segway tours. I had commented how he kept his boys safe and in-line during the tour and that he might have made a good scoutmaster. Turns out he is a principal of a school for boys with an enrollment of 400. He and his wife laughed.

The three hours went very quick and soon we found ourselves back at the meet point. We said our goodbyes and I started walking back to the flat. On the way I decided to stop in at a Lacoste shop and bought a couple of new pullovers. My plain black t-shirts are showing a bit of wear and wanted something a bit different. I found a couple of shirts I liked and was on my way.

After returning to the flat, fixing a simple meal, and a quick nap I went shopping again for a few more food items. So interesting to shop among the local people. I went up and down all the aisles just to see the variety of foods available.

I tried to take another nap but thought of things I wanted to do and couldn’t sleep. One was to transfer funds to pay off my American Express balance and the other was to book a ticket for my ride to Cannes tomorrow.

I’ll probably have mostly the same meal tonight. Fried chicken breast (in olive oil), potatoes, and spinach that I bought today. I’ll probably watch a movie tonight and be in bed somewhat early so I can be at the train station by 9:30 for my 10:00 train to Cannes.

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