Nice

It was Saturday night, 3rd September 2011, and I was at home writing emails and communicating with my friends by Facebook. Suddenly a friend from Argentina living in Rome wrote me: What are you doing Saturday night at home? I was at home because the club where I worked as a PR under Castello di San’Angelo on the Tevere River in Rome had shut down. They got fined after a long summer and they closed before the season was over.

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What are you doing this week? He asked me. I am going to Spain on Thursday; one of my friends from the infant school is getting married on the next Saturday, but I will return in 2 weeks.

Really?! I have an idea, give me 5 minutes and I will write back to you. He told me. I was busy doing my things and after 3 hours writing and chatting with my family and friends I went to bed, without any message from him.

Next morning I woke up early and I went to have breakfast. Cappuccino e cornetto, grazie mille! I didn’t check my emails and facebook , in fact I forgot: I have an idea, give me 5 minutes and I will write back to you. When I say 5 minutes is 5 minutes if not I say: talk later!

There was the message when I checked later: I booked a flight to Nice for tomorrow afternoon. I am flying right now. We will speak later.

What?! I didn’t understand anything and I sent him a message: Could you explain me or give me more details. Have you booked a flight for both?! As I told you I am leaving for Spain on Thursday at 6pm and I have a meeting at 10.30am.

I few hours later he explained me the plan: I had already booked a flight and the hotel at Nice while speaking with you. I have 2 days free this week and I have decided to go there and have oysters and white wine. When you told me that you are free I was checking for another free seat and I was lucky. We will take off tomorrow at 3pm and we return on Tuesday night. You have the whole of Wednesday and part of Thursday to get ready for Spain. Just take a bag and make sure to be at the airport at 1pm. I will be there as I am landing at 11am. Don’t say no, you will enjoy!

Well, Nice….why not? I didn’t have anything to do this week, just to teach Spanish to an Italian boy. I went to teach him early morning and I left for the airport. See you on Wednesday and do your homework! I told him before leaving.

As he is a flight Purser he can manage seats at the last minute, you just have to get ready to take off.

I am in Nice! Having oysters and white wine!

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The plan was to get up early go for a walk take some pictures, have a good lunch and get ready to return to Rome. He loves to take photos and he had amazing cameras.

Before breakfast he asked me: what time is your meeting and flight on Thursday?. What is going on? I asked him with an intrigued face.

Well, we have a little problem, there is a strike ( if you have lived in Rome you would know that suddenly there is a strike day…… Rome se ferma! ) and our flight has been canceled. We could fly on Thursday, but you have to cancel the meeting and run to pack and leave for Spain. The airline pays for everything.

I looked at him and I said: listen: This meeting is very important, it is for a job. I won’t cancel it. I am sure you can find a really good solution. I am leaving for a while, I will return with breakfast. I will find a nice baguette, croissant and coffee, meantime you can work on our return trip.

I went for a walk and saw a nice café I sat down and I had a delicious coffee and I bought a croque Monsieur and a croque Madame, 2 coffees and a croissant. Do you know the different between croquet Monsieur and croquet Madame? Croquet Madame has an egg on the top, meaning the Madame’s hat.

I returned at the hotel with my best smile. I knew me friend and I was sure he has found a solution.

Bonjour! So, tell me the plan.

This is the plan: we will be around Nice today and we will go to Monaco tomorrow to take a walk, have lunch there and we will return here. We will take a plane to Geneva in the evening, then from Geneva to Rome at 5.30am. You will be at home around 8.30am. You have time to take a shower and leave for the meeting. You will be on time!

I was stood up, looking at him shocked and I said: are you kidding?. No Bella, this is the plan, trust me, it is the best one. And he told me: let’s have this amazing breakfast that you brought.

I was having breakfast still in shock, without saying a word. Taking deep breath and a sip of coffee I said: I will be in five countries in 2 days. I can’t believe it. I will explain it to my friends on Saturday at the weeding day. They won’t believe it!!!! France, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy and Spain!!!

My dear you told me almost 3 months ago, that your dream is to travel a lot and you love to take planes, that day I told you that I would take you with me one day.

I called my sister in Spain and I told her everything. I will be happy, see you in 2 days!

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We arrived very late in Geneva, but we decided to go look around the city by cab. The city was empty. We walked around the lake area to find a restaurant for food and drink. The restaurants were closing and the kitchen were closed no one gave us dinner. We decided to visit some club and have some beers. Suddenly we found a kebab restaurant open. We were lucky! Or maybe not? We paid 12e per Kebab. It was delicious and the more expensive kebab that I have ever had. Then we had a drink in a club and we left for the airport. It was a long night! ( while writing this story and still I am in shock after almost 4 years).

While walking around the Pantheon I heard: Marisol! Bella!. It was an Italian friend with whom I shared my first glass of wine in Rome. He is a friend of my Spanish friend in Rome. I called you a couple of time, but your phone was off.I went to the Castello di San’Angelo, and I saw that the club when you were working was shut down. He told me. I went to Nice, Monaco and Geneva. I said. He saw me shocked and I told him: it is a long story, I have a meeting right now and leaving for Spain for 12 days this evening. I will call you when I return. (this was the second time that I saw him around Rome, there were more times. Marisol!!!. Rome is very small).

Hola, Marisol? Yes, I am. We sat in a café at the Pantheon corner. We talked about the architect from Alicante whom introduce us and of the many times that we worked in that studio in Benidorm. I was working as a project manager in a developer company in Benidorm from 2006 to 2009. My company had some projects with another studio that I loved to visit. They were involved in some projects in Dubai. There was an architect from Argentina drawing with aquarelle. Every time I wisited that studio I used spend a lot of time around there. It was a nice feeling to be with the principal architect. She told me that I couldn’t work in Dubai if I don’t speak English. ( English, English and English….). Wend I left Benidorm and retuned to my town, I tried to learn English, but I did an Italian course. What to do? I love Italian language!!!

I was in contact with her, they had done amazing project s in Dubai. I was having coffee with their Dubai Manager at the Pantheon café.

When the club at the Castello di San’Angelo closed as I said, I wrote to my friends and family and I sent her an email to ask for some work reference in Rome. She replied promptly.

Marisol! How is life in Rome? Listen, do you remember the guy from Guatemala who was working in my studio as a manager in Dubai? He is now working in an architectural studio in Rome. He shuttles between Rome and Dubai. He is in Spain right now. I had a coffee two days ago with him. He will be here a week, then Rome for a couple of days as well. He also travels to Iran . Email him right now. Good luck and update me.

I had not met him before, in Benidorm he had already settled in Dubai. But I promptly emailed him.

He informed me that he would be in Rome from Wednesday 7th late until 10th morning. I told him that I was leaving for Spain on the 8th evening, so we fixed an appointment for the same day at 10.30am.

Things happen for a reason. There is always an auspicious moment. We were enjoying the cappuccino talking about our life in Benidorm, the coincidence of that meeting and of my trip to Nice. He talked to me about the company and the projects that they handled. He offered me the job as a trainee as they didn’t need anyone at that time and meantime I could find a regular job if possible. Enjoy Spain and if you want we can meet when you return, he said. He would return 2nd of October late. We could meet on the 3rd again and talk further.

I returned home very happy and sure that I would work with him. I didn’t have anything to lose, on the contrary I would learn a lot!!

I packed and flew to Spain! Home sweet home!