Before I reach any city, I download three offline apps: XE Currency, Google Translate and Google Maps. Experience will lead to having a second offline map option such as Maps.Me being advantageous – this happened before that.
I met Ashur in Marseilles and made plans to meet up again in Nice, France. I awoke to a morning of beautiful weather and this meant formulating a beach day in Monaco with my new friend. We strolled along the rolling coast of the French Riviera as a parade of vintage cars driven by Vargas styled girls drove past on our way to the bus stop.
Buses on the weekends are slow, but we made a full day of it swimming and exploring the coastline. By late afternoon the wind picked up and we made our way back to the crowded bus stop and waited. And waited.
Rather than just standing around we opted to walk to the next stop – direction Nice. With the help of Google Maps we quickly found walking directions along the route. We obediently followed our little blue dots down a small residential path. The footpath began to taper and before we knew it, we were in a tunnel. We followed the tunnel further until the space above our heads began to vanish and we were hunched over. Hmmm … did Google Maps lead us into a drainage pipe?
We retraced our steps back to the overgrown path where we were steered wrong and peaked over a garden fence. Just there was OUR road. Just on the other side of a private plot of this ageless Monaco mansion. Ashur took the initiative to jump the fence and suss it out just as an old French lady comes out raising hell. I am standing at her garden gate and Ashur had been chased out to the main road. I explained where we were trying to go in my broken French and may I cross thru. A stern “Non” came out followed by concise directions to get there from down the street and I went on my way to meet my friend.
I’m not sure what went thru his mind next, but he was trying to get back to the garden gate where he left me via the drainage pipe? And as I am on the street looking for Ashur, he was underground looking for me. And there was the bus. The driver pulled over asked if I was boarding. Fuck, nope I guess not.
We finally crossed paths after about an hour had a good laugh and continued to walk for the next 2 hours before catching the last bus of the evening just before dark.