After I said goodbye to my sister, I did what I‘ve been successfully doing for years now: I was slowly going home, as I like to call it. In this case, going back to Lithuania from Ireland happened to be through Nice and then a bit of Italy. This route was dictated to me by Ryanair. I couldn‘t complain. “Oh well, fiiiiiine, I‘ll spend some days on the beach,“ I would say while rolling my eyes. After a short flight (ah, Europe), I reached my couchsurfer‘s place and was officially on a holiday from…being on holiday, but that‘s irrelevant.
What can I say about Nice – it‘s an eye candy of a city, as expected. It also makes you realise how poor you are compared to people who no-one on this planet should be comparing him/herself to in order to remain sane, and, if you’re single, you will become very much conscious about that as well. All those rich couples will inevitably remind you of your life choices that led you to this moment of reading a book on the beach, alone. Thankfully, I was reading an amazing book (rereading Watchment, that‘s what I was doing, hells yeah!) and so this was where all the potential self-pity ended.
When my amazing host wasn‘t working, we had a breath-taking trip to the mountains nearby which we only bettered for ourselves with our seemingly never-ending chats about anything we thought like discussing. The name of that lovely mountain village is Gilette (not to be confused with the razor company; your google search results might turn out really freakin‘ weird due to a small typo), and in my head I claim that those mountains were more or less the Alps. Like when I have convinced myself that what I saw in Rishikesh, India, was the beginning of the Himalaya, those were definitely the Alps.
Yet somehow what was as memorable as our awesome ride was one very specific activity I easily agreed to and, later, encouraged my host to go again. It was – nothing sexual here, hence, boring – going for a jog. Not just any jog it was, but a jog full of arrogance: as we were passing all those lazy tourists (“walking, pathetic…”), I felt like a local here in Nice, condemning people‘s laziness and their poor choices of evening activities. The second evening we even decided to run through the old city, to in a way contrasting our healthy image to all of the pub-goers that we ourselves could so recently identify with. It didn’t matter we were planning on having a pizza afterwards. Needless to say, people’s looks was a great motivation to actually run instead of shamefully catching our breath after each several hundred metres, so everything worked for our benefit.
I guess the nice thing about that fake arrogance is this. Behind this arrogance there is a feeling that, regardless of the new place itself, you feel a bit like a local because the people you’re with make you feel like visiting old friends. I spent my Christmas break on a paradise island in Thailand three years ago and had my NYE celebration at a diving shop, with a group of superfriendly and chill diving instructors, two of whom I was couchsurfing with. Seeing all the backpackers passing by while we were having our drinks in an outdoor area of the shop, that brief arrogance – “look at me and my new friends” – can be explained by the second part of this very sentence: new friends.
So, if you feel like an arrogant local looking down on other tourists (well, tourists deserve to be looked down at in any case for not being backpackers), it might be a good thing. There is a chance you are in a very good company.