We arrived in Nice this afternoon just in time for a change in the weather. While we were buying cell phones, it rained and the temperature dropped nearly 10 degrees, to the 50s. Walkers on the Promenade des anglais in front of our hotel bustled along to keep warm. A two-hour nap recharged brain and body, but that missing night’s sleep still keeps us considerably off balance. All four bags made it from Boston. The Hotel Mercure has a spanking wi-fi connection and a deep bath tub, so everybody’s happy.
The cell phone signup at Bouygues Telecom was incredibly complicated and lasted an hour and a half. But through it all, our saleswoman, who spoke fairly good English, showed remarkable patience and ease, even though we knew she was well past her scheduled departure, and she hadn’t had lunch. She interrupted our signup to visit with others who came in, then she kept people waiting while she explained to Darlene how the French write the number 1 in a way that looks like a 7 and other fine points of language and culture. No one seemed to be in much of a hurry, but things were getting done in a professional manner. I could detect some subtle difference in human rhythms here, a softer way of being in each other’s presence, less inner pressure than I usually feel whenever I am waiting in line for anything.