The Feeling Café, three blocks down Boulevard Carnot from the apartment, has a sign over the bar that reads, “AFIN DE GARDER LE BON FEELING, PAS DE CREDIT ENTRE NOUS,” which translates roughly, “In order to keep the good feeling, no credit between us.” The man in the photo appears to have lost the good feeling, at least for a moment.

I woke up amazed and delighted to be in Cannes this morning, but the day brought a full palette of feelings, including my usual first-draft writer’s willies as I wrestled with a new book review this morning at another café on the boulevard. Sometimes my high school French is surprisingly adequate, which makes me feel worldly, able to tune in reality on two separate frequencies. Other times my French stutters and stalls, and I feel like a tourist-barbarian who hasn’t even figured out which cheek to kiss first. Right cheek to right, then left to left? Or the other way around?

Darlene did figure out how to lift weights in kilograms today with the help of a health club trainer named Etienne. I figured out how to swim in the Mediterranean for a half-hour without paying Plage Royale rates. Welcome to the public beach, madames et monsieurs!

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