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Day Night – Where the European Antelope Roam

5/17/18 around 9pm. Salamanca.

I’m back in Spain, but I haven’t written since Venice about a week ago. A lot happened, but I was sick. My b.

First stop after Venice, Milan. The husband of the friend I was staying with in Venice works in Milan, which meant he commuted back and forth every Monday and Friday, respectively. I asked him if I could ride along that Monday, which would have been May 7. He said yes, and thus began a two-and-a-half hour roadtrip across Northern Italy. It was largely uneventful. At this point, I still had a rather nasty cold, so when he dropped me off he gave me some pseudofed for my stuffed nose and general poor feeling.


Milan was much more city-y than anyplace I’ve been on this trip so far

I checked into the hostel at around 2pm. It was poorly lit and had a weird layout, but it was cheap and safe-ish (nothing got stolen). I left my stuff in a locker, then took a short jaunt around the area. I was still coughing like a maniac, so I couldn’t walk more than a couple miles total. There was a polytechnic institute about half a mile down the street which had a lovely little park outside the entrance. I sat there for a while. I learned cottonwood exists outside the US when my visibility was reduced to 0 due to how many goddamn seeds were in the air at any given moment. I found a bookstore with an English books second and picked up American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Great book. At around 6pm, I made my way back to the hostel. This time, a fellow guest was in the room, an American from Massachusetts, a state I’m convinced nobody can spell correctly the first time. I forgot her name, but she was nice. We talked for a few minutes; she said she was going to find somewhere interesting near a metro line then just walk around for a few hours. Then she waited in the room for another 10 minutes as I got my stuff in order. Looking back, either she wanted me to come with or she enjoys standing around strange men for a while not really talking to them. Either way, I was sick and tired and wanted to sleep. I took a shower, hopped into bed, took one of the pseudofed tablets for my stuffy nose, then slept for 14 hours. Those last two steps were probably related.

The next day I woke up around 10am. I ate breakfast, then checked out, leaving my bags in their holding area, so I could wander around the city for a few hours before my train. The previous night my headphones crapped out, so I checked around for a electronics store to find a replacement. The only store I could find in the area was a Bose store three stops away via the red line. I ended up spending a significant amount of money on new headphones, although in the time I’ve had them they have been magnificent. Fortunately, I had far underspent my Italy budget due to my illness so the price of the headphones did bankrupt me, which thank god for that because I still have another month or so in Europe.

I hopped on the train from Milan to St Raphael, which is four towns East of St Tropez on the Azure Coast in France.


My first view of France. What a lovely wall

Seven hours later I arrived at my chosen station. I was greeted by the House Manager (!) of the family friend I was staying with in St Maxime, a town between St Raphael and St Tropez. For those like me who don’t know what a house manager is, it is someone that rich people pay to live on their property and take care of the homeowner duties like hiring staff, making sure everything’s functional, and taking care of chickens.


And making sure this lovely girl is fed and happy

Now, my family had informed me that this man was wealthy, but they did not tell me exactly how wealthy, which is to say: a lot wealthy. His house — sorry, his mansion is the largest in St Maxime, and he dropped several hundred Euros on an local Feste D’Italia (Italian Fair) without a second thought, mostly on truffles.

Let me give a quick rundown of the house. By my count, there are 12 bedrooms, 15.5 bathrooms, two dining rooms, a library, a massive living room, a master living room, a private hot tub, a jacuzzi (apparently they’re different things), an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, a wading pool, a sauna, a steam room, a gym, three home offices, a wine cellar, one three-car garage, one one-car garage, a laundry room (with TWO WASHER/DRYER PAIRS AND AN INDUSTRIAL TOWEL FLUFFER), an outdoor parking area, A SEPARATE 2 BED/BATH HOUSE (WITH KITCHEN) for the House Manager and his family, a summer kitchen and attached dining/lounging room. Holy shit is this house big. Plus servant’s quarters for two summer workers, complete with small kitchen. Oh also there’s a full vegetable garden and chicken coup with three hens. And a small painting studio that’s been converted into a 1 bed/bath guest house. Holy shit was that place enormous.


I’m only going to show a picture of this statue. Use your imagination for the rest of the house

Of course, me being me I got food poisoning immediately and spent the second morning puking in my private bathroom. Delightful.

More later.

The BEST holidays

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