September 15th, 2008 – by: Holeydel
Del hadn't quite grasped the drink driving law of 'one drink maximum' before take off
15th September 2008
South Of France
Current Mood: Fabulous
Category: Travel And Places
In February this year I had 2 random French Students, Babou and Momo, stay at my place in London.
They had so much fun and said that I should come visit them at their home, thus for the first time in 25 years presented me the excuse to go to France, or to be more precise, the South of France.
Monaco - where even the homeless have to appear rich
So came the day of my flight and I popped into work, confirmed that I was no longer working there, and hopped on The Canary to ride myself to my awaiting plane which I was already running late for. If there’s a land speed record between Harrow and Stanstead Airport then you can bet your deceased Granny that I hold that record with the way I rode The Canary.
Editors Note here: If I just won that bet you may keep your deceased Granny – I have three of my own already. Tearing up the M11 it was inevitable some poor fly would meet its end courtesy of my motorbike helmet, it happens all the time, but one stubborn little fucker who met his maker decided to leave his remains with me for the entire journey. In the end he almost made me crash out of frustration as all I could make out from the corner of my eye was its little red intestines, a gut and one wing as it refused to blow off at speeds of over 100km.
When film critics discovered Del was the alternative choice to place the next James Bond, Daniel Craig suddenly appeared a good choice
So a quick flight over the channel before landing in Marseille and it wasn’t long before I was to discover the stereotypes of France are completely untrue. For example, we all assume that the French are so mad for snails that kebab shops offer genetically mutated giant snails off the spit and that if you were unfortunate to loose your leg to a gangrene accident one morning, the French Surgeons will be more than willing to attach an enlarged frog leg as an adequate replacement for your missing limb.
Yet none of this is true. In fact I walked all over Marseille looking for a café that dished up the little flower eaters only to be told nowhere has them. The only place that had them was the frozen department in the supermarket and they sold them in packs of 15 - I was going to need a little extra salt to get through that lot. In Aix en Provence where I was staying with The French Connection, Babou and Momo, I sat down in a cafe to order a coffee and was presented with this little shot of black stuff. Tiny it was, and not an espresso either. Small cups of coffee might be the norm across Europe but it’s nothing I’m used to – so I ordered 5 more. And you know what else I learnt of this gradually twisted nation – that stepping in dog shit is good luck. But hold on a mo before you go looking for a steaming French turd to dive into like I did, you have to make sure you step into it with your right foot only. And fuck me, check this out. I’m reading the Lonely Planet’s guide to France to discover what sort of activates I can arse around with, things like bungee jumping, paragliding and canyoning, when I only have the words ‘Donkey Rambling’ staring back at me.
A del's eye view of Nice
What the fuck is Donkey Rambling? Turns out I can hire out a donkey to cart my entire luggage about as I pointlessly walk around a mountain, but wait! At 44 Euros a day to hire out the horse / Amy Winehouse hybrid I think it’s a bloody rip off. For that price I expect the half dead donkey to cart my luggage through the Channel Tunnel and back to my doorstep at the far end of London. Eventually I hired out an Algerian illegal immigrant I found eating grass on the mountainside and still had change left from 44 Euros.
Muggers Alley had a European look to it
In Aix I nipped into a sex shop and made the amazing discovery that it had a full on porn cinema upstairs. Because couples got into the cinema for free you can imagine half of the men inside were disguised as women to avoid the entry charge. Luckily for me though I never had to resort to such measures as I had Babou tagging along with me. Inside it was just like the 70’s the only thing missing was the afro American sitting at the front blocking everyone’s view with his big afro.
‘We can’t be having that’ I thought, so I quickly nipped out and bought an afro wig from a joke shop and proceeded to ruin everyone’s perverted viewing pleasure by blocking their view with it.Aix had these pipes which sprayed water down to cool you off in the heat, or if you’ve just come out of a porn cinema. I said to Babou we have the same thing in England only the water comes from the sky and is much more aggressive. We also passed a street sign called ‘Bastard Street’ in which I had my photo taken with. A quick email here and there and I’ve now had my beautiful mug printed in Ryanair’s on-flight magazine as well as agreeing to have the photo printed in Lonely Planets upcoming book ‘Signposts’. So soon you’ll be ably to say to your friends, ‘Hey, would you like to meet my good friend Del?’ before leading them into any good bookstore and turning to whatever page they print me on.
Del discovers a way to cut his habit to one a day and avoid any further cravings
Back at the apartment it was announced that we were going to have a crap party. I wasn’t sure what one of those was but it was bound to have RnB playing at some point. Momo then explains we cook a load of pancakes and we eat them with all sorts of toppings. So it’s a crepe party then, which fucking rocked – even if I did put on 35kg in the space of 3 hours. Plus it reminds me of one of my favourite jokes that I will share with you:
Rumours circulating the art world that a forgery was available onthe black market proved true
An English, an Irish and a Scotsman are drinking in a pub one day when they begin talking about their sons. ‘My son’ begins the Englishman, ‘Was born on St George’s Day, so we named him George’. ‘My son was born on St Andrew’s Day’, says the Scotsman, ‘So we named him Andrew’ ‘B’jasus!’ says the Irishman all excited, ‘The same thing happened with my son Pancake!’
In Nice we were attempting the whole couchsurfing lark again but I’ve discovered it’s fucking difficult to get a result when I’m asking to crash over at another blokes place.
Must be the whole penis between my legs thing. So as it was we ended up choosing a hostel that displayed a picture of a group of backpackers enjoying their stay, a photo obviously not taken at this particular hostel cos at night time the cockroaches come out to party. So it shouldn’t be a group of actors waving in the photo but a family of cockroaches waving their flags of their respective countries. From Nice we went to Monaco. And soon left. Really, there’s fuck all there. There were only two good things about Monaco – the first being that it only cost one Euro to get there by bus and the second being it only cost a Euro to escape from the place.
'...to love and to hold, until one of you gets bored withmarried life and decides to give someone else a shag...'
In Marseille we caught a boat to visit the Prison made famous by the novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.
This count fella wasn’t a real person, which proves you just can’t believe everything you read in fictional books, though I did read of one bloke who was sent to the prison by his own father. Talk about strict discipline, all my mother used to do was beat me with a bamboo stick before tying me naked to a street lamppost for several days without any food or water. But never would she consider sending me to a prison. Anyroad Mr Prisoner happened to have a few quid in the bank, or whatever was the alternative to a bank back in the 18th Century, and managed to pay a bit of rent in return for the best cell going in the prison. And not only that, Mr Prisoner then goes about seducing all the female staff working at the place – but you can’t do this sort of thing in prisons nowadays, oh no, Butlin’s is where you want to go to experience that shit. So Babou and I are roaming around the prison cells each displaying the name of the occupant above the entrance, presumably to help the postman dish out the mail, when we come to a cell in which the fire place inside had burnt down. Who knew the Irish had contracts to build fireplaces in France back in those days. Back in Marseille there’s the fucking massive Basilique Notre Dame sitting on top of a big hill.
Del was about to discover that faking suicide attempts was a great way of gaining attention
A big gold thing it is that you can’t miss seeing, unless of course you happen to be a blind person in which case you’d miss absolutely everything.
Eager to have their photo taken with Jesus, the tourists of Golgotha were disappointed to discovered he had popped out for a cigarette break
All in all then to sum up the South of France: Nice was nice, Marseille was okay and Monaco, well Monaco was shit really. What did you expect, a nice little rhyme??