I just arrived in Nice a couple hours ago. I hadn't made any housing arrangements or anything. I just bought a train ticket and showed up.

(Actually, it was three tickets. It proved difficult to purchase a single direct passage from Barcelona to Nice. So I bought ticket 1 at the station, then ordered tickets 2 and 3 online and picked them up in Montpellier. And there is a direct passage from Montpellier to Nice, but I wanted to try a TGV, which necessitated ticket 3. In my opinion, the V was not that G. Kind of P at times. Maybe this is not the fastest route.)

I so rashly avoided doing anything in advance because I figured I'd be able to work it out upon arrival. After all, I speak the language. What could possibly go wrong? Then my brain realized it was talking about Nice in June, and even as the passing scenery demanded its attention, it got a bit nervous. To mollify it, while waiting for the TGV at Marseilles, I called a few places recommended by my big book about Europe. Only one had a room available, and it was a double room for a nice high price. Then I called one last hostel, and it might have been good, but the phone card ran out of funds just after they picked up. And then it was time to board the TGV.

My fate as a tourist was already sealed, the outcome already determined, there was nothing I could do about it, and the hills and the sea were going to fly by whether I enjoyed them or not. So I did.

I'm staying at a small, rather nice bed and breakfast. Reasonable rate, too.

As I mentioned, I came here from Barcelona, where I walked around like a madman for three days, using the technique I refined in Berlin. Three days isn't fair to either city, of course. Compared to Berlin, much of Barcelona's character can be imbibed and digested visually. (When I get a chance to post photos, you'll see what I mean.) I also went to nearby Sitges for an afternoon, on my sister's sage advice. A mild epiphany occurred there. I'll write about it under separate cover.

It's in the nature of loneliness to come and go. It's gone. Solitude is always seated quietly in the back of the room; if one invites others to stand in front, as many do, one can manage to avoid noticing. I prefer not to invite such guests very often.

Some of you will remember my having said “I'm glad I was who I was, so that I could become who I am now.” Encore une fois.