I kept turning away from the water and gazing towards the hills surrounding Nice. The lush greenery beckoned to me.
I heard her say, “Well, I mean, how am I supposed to know what I want? Everything is in French!” She wanted a beer, but was annoyed she couldn’t find cerveza anywhere on the menu…
As I walked the short distance from the train station to the hostel I was struck by the same feelings of unease I experienced in Carcassonne. The streets were empty except for straggling groups of unfriendly looking men. In Carcassonne, the men merely leered. Here, they catcalled and made clicking noises like one might when trying to lure an animal closer.
I spent today exploring Roman ruins and Van Gogh sites. And I fell more in love with Arles by the second.
The employee at the cafe was aghast when I voiced a desire to sit outside. “C’est tres froid!” I insisted I would be fine, that this weather didn’t feel cold to me, and was amused when a dawn of recognition lit up his face. “Ah, tu vas fumer,” he said, while miming smoking a cigarette.
After dark the streets in Arles aren’t just well-lit, they’re lit cheerily and with lots of color. There is noise around, noise of conversation and fun, noise of safety nearby should it be needed.