Cannes Day 1 – Vive La Crepes!   Leave a comment

Okay. So I haven’t been able to blog about a few things recently.

Number one was my Graduation – too tired.
Number two was traveling to France the day after graduation – way too tired.
So the blog starts here :p

 

CANNES DAY ONE – POLICE, SHUTTLES AND CHILLY WEAHTER

 

I’m sitting in a room in the Cot d’Azur airport. I’m staring blankly forward—this is what I do when I’m trying to keep an innocent face—and trying to understand the French customs officer speaking to me… in French.

 

This would be one of my first experiences with the French. The first would be the passionate request of a French man for me to switch seats with him and his wife on the airplane.

“I would lie to sit with my wife.” He says moments after coming to the seat. I was a little hesitant. No, very hesitant because I really wanted to have my window seat, occasionally looking at the ocean while we flew over it at hundreds of miles and hour. Eventually I gave the guy the seat. Not before he mutters under his breath:

Sur incompetente Americans!” after an air hostess gives him a bogus explanation as to why he and his wife aren’t seated together. I tried not to laugh.

Now, I’m back in the office. Not only do I have no proof that I was invited to the Cannes Film Festival (my reason for being in France) I have no copy of my hotel reservation. This is REALLY bad. The lady took one look at my Jamaican passport and immediately started scrutinizing me. (my fellow participans in my program, all Americans went through without a hitch).

It was a fun experience, as I tried to speak in Englsh and broken French to explain my purpose for being in France. I couldn’t’ remember the name of the hotel right away, but I did remember the website that had the hotels name on it, which didn’t help things at all. Then the name of the hotel popped into my mind.

Villa Maupassant.

A young French guy that resembled an actor from a movie I can’t remember was very helpful. He could see the customs lady was breaking my balls. I would find out later that the French officials didn’t even scan the passports for the American passengers, they just took a quick glance at it, then stamped. She kept asking me questions in casual conversational French while the young man translated. I didn’t think I was screwed, but I was very annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring the essential things any Jamaican should when they are traveling: Reasons to show you aren’t fleeing your home country.

After a while I explained to the woman that I was part of a group that had traveled to France and that I was to be picked up outside. The only problem with that was, I had no idea who was picking me up, how they looked or what they were wearing. We walked over to the customs section where I was grilled on why I was in France. 

“I’m going to the festival.” I said.

“Really?” the customs baggage lady (different from the customs lady ) said. 

“Yes.”

“Where is your letter of acceptance?” she asks.

“I don’t have it.” 

I give a sob story about Graudating the day before and being extremely tired which is only half true. I normally have my information printed in duplicated hidden in both suiticases, with a backup on my thumb drive. I wasn’t only tired this trip, I must have been on drugs as well. You travel eight thousand miles and have no hotel address? Come on dude!

I eventually get through customs and go outside. I begin looking around… and see no one even remotely familiar. In the pit of my stomach I can see how more and more I’m appearing like a Jamaican hoping to make a new life in the hills of Cannes with my French Cougar. 

 We eventually returned to the airport police office. The young man who had been really cool with helping me apparently double checked with the Villa Maupassant people and I was good to go. phew!

The bad thing was my shuttle had already left and the next one wouldn’t return until about ten a.m (which ended up being about Eleven a.m) either way. My entrance into France like many things, was with a bang.

It’s a chilly day in the Cot d’ Azur aiport, but I like the look of the area. Many of the buildings are tan and dot the hillside in a contiguous way. When the plane landed, for a brief moment I thought of Montego Bay—until I saw some massive mountains in the distance. I’m at the Villa now taking a break. I’m tryin to stay awake for the rest of the day to stave off the weirdness Jet lag can give a traveler, so I think I might get something to eat nearby.

Reflectionz 

I’ve just graduated from University, and I don’t have time to really relish the idea of being a working professional, I just am. A colleague of mine ( who also Graduated just a few days ago) goes on a walk with me around the local area. We are trying to find out if we can get a phone, or a sim card for cheap, but the best price we find Is a store that sells them for 20 euros. The man doesn’t speak much English and my French is horrible, so I can’t figure out. I decide against getting the SIM for the moment, but as time passes I realize I might need a way to contact people.

 

I’m fighting against the effects of future Jet lag. This is a process that requires a person to stay awake in the manner you would on any given day, but you are technically staying awake for an extra six hours. When my friend and I stop at a stand to by some crepes, I am made all to aware of this fact. While I’m eating my phone alarm goes off.

For 8:30 a.m

French time is 12:30 p.m. I groan to myself because I have to stay up till at least 8 p.m  that evening to trick my mind into getting into the new cycle. I spend the rest fo the day walking around a lot to get my bearings. Cannes is a scenic town, with sweeping vistas of nice mountainous regions, and lots of teeny tiny cars. The occasional Bentley or Ferrari drives buy pretty regularly, but many people have cars that can fit in a shoe box, or ride a bike.

 

I end up taking a long (possibly 5 mile) walk to the Palais Des Festivals which is the main area of the Cannes Film Festival. On my way there I run into a girl who was in my Cinematography one class. Small world eh? She tells me about studying abroad and how creepy French men are. (The rumors are true!)

 

I hang out for a bit, looking at huge Yachts on the Mediterranean and trying to stay awake. I’m sitting on a bench somewhere, I watch another monster Ferrari with a soft top roll by like a Lion chasing his dinner and I head home. Earlier in the day I bought some bread and cheese and its my saving grace. I haven’t had the opportunity to go to a supermarket yet, and for now I will be eating “du pan au fromage”. I’ll report on day two as it comes. You can also checkout my video blog. (whenever I can figure out how to set that up…)

 

 

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