Nice, France


April 16-19, 2000

Life is definitely faster than in France and I'll blame thinking the French were rude on a sort of culture shock. Actually, that's not true, when you try to speak a French word and butcher their language, they're not kind about it, not even at the tourist office. Just try English and it gets a better response.

The tourists are pretty obnoxious too. The first, and "nicest" guy I met here was the guy runs the second hotel I stayed at (it cost less and was better than my first night's stay). We talked about his days as a teacher in Algeria, the not so wonderful weather of London vs. typically great weather of Nice and that he though there was a real problem in Nice: there's at least 5 times more women than men, at least in his hotel. I assured him, this really wasn't a problem. Even though I hardly saw anybody, it does seem there are a lot of college girls who are looking for culture but eating at McDonalds.

My first day here was a lousy raining one, so I escaped the French and entered into Imperial Russia... there's a Russian Orthodox Church here.

With its placid music in the background, golden iconostsis, blue pastels and red trim, the decor is complete with Cyrillic captions along with bibles in red and black ink.

Russians came here for religious freedom when Christianity and this church, while built 1903-1912, was styled after the 16th and 17th century styles. The front was brought in from Russia's Khlebnikov workshops - a small glimpse behind the old iron curtain.

My leg had gotten much better and so did the weather for the other days. There's a decent stone beach, the typical European church and museum, but nothing outstanding. Nice is nice. Just nice.


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