Vive la Différence!

Sunday lunchtime. The Old Market, Nice, France. An elderly woman on a neighbouring table, explaining to her family why Brexit was inevitable:

It was never going to work with them, they refused to drive on the right side of the road.

Wednesday morning. Walking along the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, I’m approached by a French woman who asks me the time.

Me: It’s 10:35

Her: Thanks. What are you listening to? (Pointing to my headphones).

Me: Santana

Her: Which album?

Me: Abraxas (She smiles, I offer her an earpiece).

We listen to ‘Oye Como Va’. Track finished, she hands back the earpiece and we look out to sea for a couple of minutes in companionable silence.

Her: Where are you from?

Me: England

Her: I’ve been to London three times. I love it.

Me: It’ll be cheaper for you to visit now.

Her: Yes. It’s very different there from here.

Me: Yes.

Her: I mean, it’s a completely different mentality.

Me: Yes.

Her: It’s an exciting place.

Me: Yes.

Her: Now, of course, it’s become exotic.

Me: Is that so?

We laugh, and walk on our separate ways. She stops, looks back and shouts…

Her: You’ll always have the Promenade!

Wednesday evening at 22:11, on Facebook, am messaged by a French friend during the Euro 2016 football semi-final between Wales and Portugal.

Him: Fucking Portugal!

Me: Excuse me?

Him: Fucking Portugal scored against Wales!

Me: Bit dramatic…

Him: 😞😭

Me: Shouldn’t you be supporting an EU country?

Him: WTF?

Me: Y’know, post-Brexit vote.

Him: Fuck the EU!

Me: Really? What do you support?

Him: France and cooperation between countries.

Me: Vive la France!

Him: Vive la France et le vin et l’amour!

Me: Fair enough, seems a reasonable manifesto to me.

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