After spending a week with no cash in Canet I started to believe I could will things to happen, like finding a fifty euro note in the gutter, though it was usually just a short tab end Pierre had tossed before going into the bar.
They were as relieved as I was that they had found somebody competent in the mother tongue to speak to.
Don't go away they said.
Oh I'll still be here I reassured them.
It might take us a half hour, is that OK?
I won't die of starvation in that time I said and off they ran.
A half hour later they returned with apricot jam sandwiches and some salted seeds and a tangerine that seems to be on the fare of all donations. I hated getting them in my xmas stocking, but I was so grateful for anything at this time.
I managed to tell them the salesmans joke of the bible seller with a stutter who won awards.
His secret was
I knnnoock ock onnn a doo door and ask them
Do yoooo you wannn na buy a bbbi bible or shhhall shall I rre read it to you.
That had them hysterical as they had been all day flogging themselves around an Islamic neighbourhood..
Buggar this I thought, I will settle for Vitrolle for the night and find Marseille in the morning.
I located the centre and it was a modern urban town, but the square at it's heart had a couple of bars in it.
I chose the right one and had an amazing evening with the locals there and a lovely woman who was running the bar.
It was my first alcohol for a week and I didn't care as to it's affects on me.
One of the locals was concerned about me sleeping rough and offered me twenty euros to book a hotel.
I declined and at the end of the evening found a very quiet space a hundred yards from the bar where I could return to get my morning coffee at 6.30
There was a guy on the morning shift who I think was the womans husband from the night before. He was very impressed with my voyage and after getting help from a couple of locals for directions, in a pot pourrie of languages I set sail for Marseille.
I had a couple of coffees the second he laced with schnapps for me and after offering to buy his bike if ever he wanted to sell I was off to Monaco.
I rode down to San Tropez and negotiated a vehicle check two mile prior when I was advised that my helmet was no authoriszay en France. You understand No auhoriezay, said the officious officer.
Nice was nice and after another quick stop to adjust the tension of the chain I was off to Monaco.
So after touring the streets which are terraced up the cliff face, I pulled up at a scooter rank to go and find a shop and a bar.
My back was in rebellion to the position I had been using so I crawled my way across the road to sit on some steps to an office while enjoying a cigarrette.
A car drew up after 5 minutes sitting there and out piled four burly Monaco police officers and started walking towards me.
As usual I stood to greet them and be courteous when the questions started coming at me fast and furious. I will continue as a dialogue.
je ne parle fr...
You are english?
Why are you here?
I am travelling
What hotel are you staying?
I don't have one
why don't you have a hotel here:?
Because I am travelling through
Are you on the train?
No a moto, over ther (pointing)
What are you doing in your pocket, let me see what you have there?
(I went to get my lighter)
keep your hand out of your pocket!
I just want to light my cigarette
You wait till the interview is finished!
Pardon (I walked towards him as I couldn't hear him that well)?
You stand back sir, against the wall.
But I can't hear what you are saying
You stay there sir.
So why do you stop here?
(thinks - God only fuckin knows)
Cos I am tired and hungry
So why you stop here?
Pardon ?(I lean foward at an angle of 45 degrees)
Have you been in trouble with the Monaco Police before?
(thinks- Am I in trouble now?)
Papers,(After radio with HQ) what is your Fathers name ?
Your mothers name?
Her first name?
(scowl) Before her marrage?
Ok you go
(second cop walking by my bike)
First cop no- you come
What is this?
A screw driver
You have problems with your bike?
What have you in your bag?
Just my things(opening bag)
My dirty underpants and clothes (one by one)
And this pocket?
I have my phone charger
and in this pocket I have my tablets
and oh yes a pair of scissors
OK you go now
and in this pocket I have my registration ...
OK sir we are happy You can go
Oh and here I have my tools and here I have......