If you want an accurate yardstick on another country and your ability to converse with its population. Join a gym. Today being Sunday we thought it would be a good idea to visit the local fitness establishment and enquire about getting a limited membership.

We preformed routine reconnaissance at approximately 8:30 am. The gym was spotted and appeared to have usable equipment. The opening hours were noted with some dismay. It appears nothing is open before 9:00 am in this part of the world.

At home base we consulted our phrase books and thought we had enough French to set up two memberships for a month. On visiting the gym at 11:15 am we were met by a very charming man who spoke about as much English as we speak French.

On discovering our and his plight he tried to flag down the nearest lady in a leotard. She sidestepped our rapidly deteriorating conversation quickly. Still with a lot of hand signals, body language and nodding we slowly moved our way through registration until we needed to pay. He was fresh out of change and I was set across the road to the super marche to find the purser.

The purser was working at an electronics counter. I waved a fifty euro note and said


“Proform Le Change”

This was enough for him to explain that I would need to wait two minutes and I could watch him working on a broken plug. He fixed the plug with sellotape. If this Super Yacht thing does not work out I could probably begin an electronics engineer career here with some Success! I would have used duct tape.

I eventually received change, ran back to the gym and completed paying. Another lady said she could help if we spoke Dutch.

“Non. Nouveau Zealande”


It was very satisfying to start our workout. Our triumphant membership process was duly noted by the many exercising members and I am sure we will be the toast of many tables tonight in Antibes.