Moving along on my December 2009 serial vagabonding throughout Europe, my next stop, after Paris and my uber short Belgian --via Brussels-- stint, was the French Riviera. Please don't hate me!
On the morning of December 14th, I took the early bird flight from the "Aeroport de Paris Orly" to Nice to accomplish one grand master mission: to go surprise mommy dearest in Menton, France and break -- at last --the "10 year out-of-sight" bitter spell that had persistently been cast over our rather unconventional relationship (And don't ask me why we stayed apart for so long, you already know the whole story).
To be honest, the surprise visit was motivated by a cocktail of mixed up emotions, namely anger, sadness, and -- of course -- happiness and love. But this is not a poor-me tirade, so I will jump right into the heart of the matter.
To pull such an elaborate plot, I recruited the help of three accomplices -- my brothers. The plan was fairly simple and demanded minimum brainstorming and physical effort on their part. Yet even with little to no work involved in the operation, they managed to fuck up - apparently the words "work" and "men" put in the same sentence doesn't match at all! And the irony of it all was that they were each at remote locations - two in Australia and one in France (albeit in school) - and had delegated their tasks to friends acting as "middle men."
Needless to say, nothing went according to plan. It started in Paris somewhere around six in the morning when I checked in my luggage at the Air France counter. I'll skip the entire episode of me getting off the shuttle at the wrong terminal and having to drag my massive wheel-impaired suitcase over nearly two miles. Upon retrieving my boarding pass, I was quickly informed that my suitcase was 10kg overweight and that as a result I would be charged a penalty fee of approximately $50. Not that I am cheap and couldn't afford to pay the fine, but frankly airline companies these days take far too many liberties.
Of course I proceeded to publicly unload half of my suitcase on the conveyor belt - including the panoply of lingerie items purchased in the city of sexy, namely Paris - before transferring 10kg worth of crap into my miniscule handbag.
Cut to my fabulous arrival in Nice where, unbeknownst to me, another fiasco awaited my bootie. This was the part where Brother # 2 (the 22 year old currently studying in Brisbane Australia and not due back home until a few days after me) was supposed to send his local friend to pick me up and drive me to my mom's apartment for the grand surprise reunion.
You'll notice I wrote, "supposed" because evidently there was no friend holding a billboard with my name written on it. So much for my cheerleading parade!
In lieu of a VIP ride I had to settle for this public transportation called the bus.
The embarrassing sequence came when the bus driver asked me where I was going. Other than the name of the town - Menton - I was absolutely unable to provide him with an address.
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