Russian church walkabout


This is the walk we took on Day 2, morning.

Our apartment is in the famous Quartier des Musiciens, so it was a short walk to the Russian Orthodox church.  All we had to do is walk from rue Rossini, where we are staying, turn right on Gabetta, go under the elevated autoroute, left of Blvd du Tzarewitch, and voila, there was the church the Romanoff royals built long ago, no doubt to pray for their sins.

I was told by a dour attendant to take my hat off when we went inside the church proper; the architecture was ornately baroque, in that Eastern Orthodox way.

Later, we went to visit the venerable Nice Tennis Lawn Club, a very short distance away on rue Suzanne Langlen by the Parc Imperial (where the church is located), and took in the grounds, which were terre battue and hard court.  For non members, 50 euros an hour; but you can come at 9am, we were told, and for only a 15 euros participation fee, a member might invite your for a game.

This sounded promising,  So we went in the tennis shop to see if they had the new Serena Williams racket.  Inside was some blondish late 30s / early 40s tennis shop guy dripping with arrogance.  He was one of those types who answered you back in English, after you made the effort to converse in French, and his answer to the Serena question was, “why?” –as in, why would you want that racket?

He was stringing a racket for someone in the shop, and then he said to no one in particular, sneeringly almost, eyes dripping with condescension, all these tennis fans like to buy the rackets of famous players, like my wife was sort of weekend banger, and not someone who has played the game well all her life.

A simple “merci monsieur” was enough to end this conversation in a way that it might not have ended in 1971-72, when I was as a student in Nice, and rarely averse to verbally taking on, in rapid-fire, slangy French, any pompous little twerp who tried to get away with Gallic pretensions.

I mean, there’s not even an actual lawn in the Nice Tennis Lawn Club, you know what I mean?

Later we stopped by a bistro and had a huge plate of Couscous Royale that had different kinds of veggies and meat in it — lamb, chicken, beef and my personal bête noire , Mergez sausage — which remained untouched.  I did smear some harissa sauce on my off-white pants, and that was not my only regret, as I mistakenly paid the addition with a debit card instead of my bank’s credit card.

That will end up costing me a packet in transaction costs, a mistake that shall not be repeated, as the debit card has been packed in a suitcase.  I could excuse the error by saying that the HSBC debit and credit cards are the same color, and plus which, it was getting hot out, but excuses are for losers.

I’ve done enough of that the last 16 years, living in Florida. So, no excuses, no regrets — especially since the harissa came out in the wash later that day.

Be choosy in life about which fights to pick, and you’ll do just fine. I don’t know if Nietzche thought of writing that when he composed Zarathustra on a hilly trail leading to nearby Monaco, but if he didn’t, he should have.


4 thoughts on “Russian church walkabout

  1. Very interesting. Reading your blog daily now. I can relate somewhat. Using the wrong card is something I have done before and kicked myself. In my case it was using an Egyptian pound HSBC card instead of an AED one, when the latter would have been advantageous. €75 an hour for tennis!!! How about €4 an hour at the well maintained hardcout or clay at the Movenpick Hotel in El Gouna. Been to Nice twice with Oracle. I have always liked the Mediterranean but those pebbly beaches are dangerous. I didn’t know the dangers lurking beneath the water. We had a ‘team building’ event and teams had to race each other in kayaks. When my turn came I raced in to take over the kayak and gashed my foot really bad in rocks underneath. I couldn’t wear shoes for days. Even boarded the return plane in flip flops bought onsite.


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