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NICE, France—The first to greet me was a palm tree waving hello in a sleepy stupor. After a 15-minute drive through the city under its midnight-blue ceiling, I found myself in a small room stashed in the corner of a woman’s house with several floors: my Airbnb for the next three nights. I wondered what Nice would look like in the morning when the ceiling was of sun. Sure, the night lamps caressed the cars, homes, and passerbys nicely, but there were more details to be seen.
In the morning, everything was open. Clothes and towels hung from little balcony balustrades. You could soak in life simply by seeing all that was hanging about the railings and little balconies while listening to all the sounds bouncing from wall to wall. Later I learned that around dinner time, the aromas of everyone’s meal travel through homes as if they have wanderlust. It is amazing, yet I assume it would be equally torturous if one were starving. Breakfast that first morning was basic but delicious, especially since I was ravished. With an espresso, baguette slices with butter and blueberry jam gave a true kickstart to the unknown day I had ahead. Upon leaving my very temporary home, I wandered south. I passed trees upon trees—all lovely. The same was true for flowers, which blossomed across colors. I would have expected such a place to smell just as lovely. While it didn’t stink, all of my inhalations were traced with tobacco, each varying in strength. Everywhere I went, cigarettes flourished between fingers and cobblestone crevices. They were an accessory and a way of life.
I wandered further and caught a big, lit-up H&M sign. I thought following the sign would lead me to more exciting rues—streets—especially since these big stores never stand alone; they agglomerate. Besides, the plenty of people bustling through that street seemed captured by something more than shopping. It was true; further down that street there was Place Masséna. I was funneled out from rows of stores with train tracks down the middle to this mass courtyard of beauty. Even the floor was beautiful in its grey and cream crooked- and straight-ness. A garden flourished there, and synchronized fountains danced beyond it. Fountains seem to dance all over in Nice. Colorful buildings lined the streets that reached out like arms from their splendid courtyard body. Buildings hugged its southern side, right where the sea sits calmly as bodies enter from and return to rocky shores. There, where the sea sat calmly, I looked into the horizon longing to experience more adventures.
Andrea M. Bossi ’21, a Crimson News editor, lives in Lowell House.
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