What I mean is that it's almost impossible not to be labelled a pompous a- hole when you tell people you're in the "South of France". Just being in France I guess is ****** enough.
"Oh yes, we're in the south of France, Nice actually, you know"
Why does everyone think of this area as being so glamorous?
Maybe cause Monte Carlo has the highest cost of land ownership of anywhere in the world, hell, it will set you back $1 million smack a roos just, JUST! To apply to live in Monaco. APPLY!
But then if you didn't already feel exclusive enough, Monaco is actually its own country, the second smallest next to the Vatican. (What is it with rich people and being in their own country?)
So we are down in that area, you got Monaco, Nice, Cannes, Port Grimaud (French version of Venice-also sinking "Ha Ha suck s*** that's what you get") and oh of coarse St Tropez. I think that's where the Pez lolly company make their tropical flavours. There ain't exactly a whole heap of stuff to do here in the south of France. You can go to the casino of Monte Carlo the first casino but it'll cost you 10 euro to get in plus you can't exactly wear your pluggers in. You can rent a Ferrari!
"Did you rent the Ferrari man?'" I enquire of Mark
"O yea, how much?"
"890 euros for the day"
Holy turkey slap me sideways 890 euros! You'd want a Ukrainian prostitute and an ashtray full of coke to go with it.
The extent of our lavish spending in this area was on a bus ride and boat cruise to the tune of 38 euros which came with an open bar.
"Did he say open bar?" I say as I glance at gem in the busabout coach
"Yea he did"
"Hay mister gay bus tour leader guy, did you say open bar?"
"Yep open bar"
"As in…………… FREE?"
"You know it"
(Drool dribbles from the side of my mouth)
Oh! While I'm on the subject of gay tour operators, as you do, I had a bit of a dilemma that might need a discussion on. We were at one of our many scheduled service stops required for the bus driver. I think it was somewhere between Avignon and the Espanola border. We get off the bus and meander around the servo food court like lost sheep, kicking the dust and shooting the s***. 20 minutes later I re-embark the lovely blue coach only to be hit with a roadblock, a metaphorical one in the form of the gay tour guides arse sticking halfway into the isle in which I have to pass.
"Ok Ben what do you do?" I think to myself
"Go bum to bum, it'll be less gay and awkward"
"Nar then ill seem homophobic"
"Screw it, I'll go dick to bum, he'll love that"
Anyway back to the boat cruise/piss up. It was described as a Bus ride to Port Grimaud, free time for lunch at an overpriced faux Venice restaurant, shuttle to the wharf to get on the cruise, an hour and a half cruise around the island of St Tropez pronounced Tro -pay where our English speaking commentator would point out and describe the houses and super yachts of the rich and famous.
"OMG OMG OMG famous people" gemma bounces around with childish enthusiasm
Mark and I like to pick on gems overbearing exuberance to spot famous people.
"Look over there, that guy, I think he's famous"
"Over there as well that guy, he's wearing a hat, he must be famous"
"This guys wearing shoes, he's famous too"
Anyway back to the cruise, we sail into the bay of St Tropez, Aussies line the bar like seagulls to a potato chip. The Irish commentator points out houses and describes the occupants and the history of each place. I swear the non-English speaking tourists could understand his accent better than we could. We sail past an absolutely monstrous super yacht, it's got 5 stories, got an entourage of staff and looks like a mini cruise liner. Apparently it's owned by 5 people, one of which owns a few nightclubs in St Tropez of course. It's said to work out the cost of a super yacht you multiply each foot in length of the boat by 1 million euros, 1 MILLION!
We slowly cruise past the coast and examine the ridiculas houses.
"That belongs to Bruce Willis"
"That one is Johnny Depp's summer rental"
"Ok guess this one………. Lance Armstrong's house"
"The big one to the left with the massive waterfront belongs to a guy divorced twice, his first wife still lives in the villa on the right, his second wife the villa at the back and his current 20 year old wife with him at the front"
"Ok guys, the house with the only official private beach in the world is right there and belongs to Bridget Bardo."
"That's the King of Sweden's"
"Oh and right there in the trees at the top, that's owned by the US government. I've been told also that a Marine sniper lives there 24/7."
Gemma loves it, it's her thing. I just knock back booze while ponder winning the lottery. We stop in St Tropez for dinner. Gem and I with another couple we had met go on the hunt for cheap food. It's like finding the Dodo bird, we search for the dingiest side alleyway around and settle for a place that eventually turned out to be quiet delectable. We stroll down the marina, take photos of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royce's parked near their super yachts and google at the people inside them.
"Man I wish I had one of them boats" I say to gem
"You'd need to be pretty rich"
"Obviously" I roll my eyes as we continue up the marina
"I wonder if they're happy, not a lot of them are smiling" gem states as our eyes intrude their back decks
"They don't need to smile, that's what Botox is for"