Saturday, 26 October 2013


When you travel around Europe with 2 mates in a very small car the sense of humor wears thin , that's when you call on your 'other self' for ideas on how to create some 'sanity'. My idea of leaving one of our touring party at a truck stop was i admit rather harsh to say the least , my next idea turned out to be possibly the greatest idea of my life . I don't quite remember the ins and outs of our conversation that day but all i know is that my idea to leave Brett and Peter and go look at The French Riviera was a 'master stroke'. 'See you guys in ten days' were my last words as i hopped on a train bound for Monte Carlo (I started at the top as far as destinations were concerned) and i enjoyed every minute of 8 hours or so of 'silence' . No singing , no threatening to kill anyone , no arguments regarding who had the worst haircut , just peace and quiet , i found 'my happy place'. When i hopped off at the train station all i heard was noise , this was Monte Carlo ? Fair dinkum i was expecting the sounds of birds singing and waves rolling into the harbor , so what the hell was this ? 'Eskoo voo parlay ongley'(Do you speak English?) 'Wee Bonjour', Goodo mate what's the noise ? 'Grand Prix' What Grand Prix? 'Monaco Grand Prix' Fair Dinkum ? I jagged the one weekend of my first ever trip to Europe and in particular Monte Carlo and the Monaco Grand Prix was on ? Now you are talking. I stayed at a Youth Hostel , drank fosters beer and watched The Monaco Grand Prix , practice one day , the real gig the next , just like that Mid strength beer ad on Tv 'What are the chances ??' I lived it up with fellow tourists at just $35 Australian dollars per night in a hostel that i had to share a room with 7 other blokes , ok it wasn't luxury but affordable on my budget. 
I looked up a local Tennis Tournament , in a place called St Maxime , 15 minutes away on a ferry from St Tropez ( home of the rich and famous ) , i played , got beat first match , but by this stage i was just happy to be on The French Riviera , life was good....
No one spoke English at St Maxime until I met a school teacher who told me i could not only stay at his villa overlooking the harbor but would i mind if he went away for 3 days on 'business' and would i please look after his villa??? Fair Dinkum again??? (trusting people these French) . If i had a mobile phone back then i would've sent both Brett and Pete a text with every obscenity imaginable , plus a picture of ' my new premises', such a shame that technology was a few years away . Tennis for me was now second on the list as i experienced just what The Riviera had to offer a 21 year old male who had conveniently 'lost' his touring mates to gain some sanity , as i said before 'A Master stroke'..........

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