14 Boulevard Carnot, Cannes, France

At this point, things are a blur (including Darlene’s image in the photo with Francoise in the kitchen), and I’m too excited to sleep. My six years of French in high school were just enough to make me dangerous as I nodded my head and frantically wrote notes about the cryptic buttons on the toaster, washing machine, on-demand hot water, and dishwasher. Darlene speaks not a word of French, which means Francoise switches to her very good English from time to time, and my mind can regroup before stumbling ahead again in all the wrong tenses. Darlene is also better than I am at asking the important questions, such as exactly why are there TWO different flush buttons on the toilet, and which is which? Water is precious here, so the toilets smartly offer two volumes of water, depending on what exactly is being flushed.

Francoise’s apartment on the fourth floor of a venerable building on a busy street has no elevator, high ceilings, eclectic original paintings, scary narrow balconies overlooking the sidewalk, and an Epson Stylus Photo 915 printer, which I hope will speak the same language as my Vaio X505. And now, mon dieu, some sleep….?

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