I wasn’t going to moan about the French being on strike. It is an unfair stereo type. Most people here on the Côte d’Azur work very hard for not much money. If you are lucky enough to work for the government, then I’m sure you don’t want to see your wages and conditions being cut. Like Cameron I’m not very interested in politics and I’m not going to start now so I took very little note of what the dispute was actually about. But the second train strike in as many months is a bloody pain in the backside!
I live in one of the most congested stretches of land in France; the Côte d’Azur is just a small strip of land squeezed between the hills and the sea. When I came to live here I thought local public transport was wonderful; clean, frequent and cheap, until I got my first job. I soon had to buy a scooter as the bus to my local place of work stopped driving at 7.30pm and we had to work till 8pm. I was surprised everyone has a car here as the train and the bus are just so cheap. Now I know, you do need a plan B.
I hate taking the car to Monaco, with toll roads and parking it works out at about 8X the price of my rail card and as there was a strike, the roads were very congested. Mind you it is hard to stay annoyed long on the Côte d’Azur; the sun is shining, I’m able to sit and write my blog outside, surrounded by palm trees and tonight I won’t have to run down that hill to catch the 20.13 train home, instead I get to drive around the Monaco circuit like a formula one driver.
Needless to say, that book two is going to be influenced by commuting and Cameron will at some point take a train. A large part of the second book is being written on the train and in Monaco station, and I hope tomorrow we will be back to normal.
Planet money, not a bad place to be writing your book: