5 Jan 2015 – Monaco
It takes more than money and style to feel comfortable in Monaco. For me, I just don’t have either the sense of entitlement or arrogance to pull it off. It is a sterile feeling place; all polish, marble and clean as if no one dares to litter, much less wear last years fashions. There are multiple pedestrian cross walks without either signals or lights. Those who live here just walk across confident that no one would dare challenge their right to go where whim directed. The stores all have consistent signage without glitz or neon. Classy one might say.
It is easy to see which of those on the street are resident here, and who commutes into the city to work. The slender, elegantly dressed with expensive haircuts and designer glasses are a sharp contrast to those dressed for obvious cleaning or construction work. The second group primarily speaking with each other in an Eastern European language, not languid French.
I walk along the route of the Grande Prix which I saw both live and on the large screens in May of 2011 which now feels like another life or perhaps the start of my current one. Along the way are all the expensive yachts complete with navigation systems and satellite communications. Homes of record are not just local or Mediterranean like Malta, but London, Grand Caymans, Sydney, Cairns of the type that start in the low seven digits.
I passed where the Christmas Carnival and Market had been held. Even in tear down mode everything was clean, well maintained and orderly, not the usually scruffiness seen by light of day.
Walking, I took a few pictures before riding the elevator down to the water front and strolling back to the ship just as hordes were headed out to explore the city. The tourists are easy to recognize. They are in pants, jeans, sweatshirts carrying backpacks and wearing ball caps and running shoes not to mention cameras hanging around their necks. Not to be confused at all with those who live here.
I don’t expect many paid the 10E + for a cup of coffee. No chain coffee shops, no pseudo-scottish restaurants here. In defiance, I headed to the eatery on ship and had tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.