Nice Through a Visitor’s Eyes

Rosemary Newsome
March 6, 2017

I was sitting in a boxed car on a ferris wheel, stalled at the top of the wheel with a spectacular view of Nice, when I realized that playing the role of tour guide changes everything.

It was the end of my mom’s second and final day in Nice (she came to visit me in Europe during my spring break) and I had just spent the weekend showing her around my new city. As I thought about the €7,50 we had each paid to ride the attraction—a price only forked up by parents wanting to appease children and tourists captivated by the charm of a ferris wheel—I had a brief panic that I would be categorized as the latter type of Ferris wheel riders. It was a silly fear, and fortunately a passing one, to think that by enjoying a so-called tourist attraction, my time spent in Nice would be less authentic.

In that same moment, as my mom and I laughed about the unstable box car and marveled at the breathtaking sunset views, I realized that perhaps my experience could actually be improved if I embraced more of a tourist lifestyle.

By no means am I considered Niçoise, but getting to live in Nice for four months makes me something more than just a passing visitor, and understanding this has caused me to be complacent in some regards. There are a lot of things I want to do, see, and experience in Nice that I’ve repeatedly said I’ll get to “later on.” Well, “later on” has arrived. The end of this week will mark the halfway point of my study abroad and there is so much more I have left to do on my Nice bucket list.

I underestimated how special it would be to see Nice through the eyes of someone seeing it for the first time, and it made me appreciate all that Nice has to offer. My mom and I would pass charming cafes and she would say something like, “This looks like a cute place for studying. Do you ever go here?” And I would say something like, “No, I don’t usually pass by this area. I just kind of stick to the spots that I know.” –A.K.A. the spots that I’m familiar with and are conveniently located. While I know there’s nothing wrong with frequenting coffee shops that I enjoy and are close to my apartment, she shed light on my tendency to cling to the familiarity of a few Americanized coffee shops, rather than branching out to new places.

And when my mom and I climbed to the top of La Colline (Nice’s historic hill where medieval castle ruins have been turned into a lush garden) and she saw how beautiful the park was and how ideal for outdoor socializing it was, she again asked, “Do you ever go here?” Sheepishly I said, “No I’ve only been once.” These conversations illuminated some great things about Nice, and while I could continue to feel guilty for not taking advantage of all that Nice has to offer, instead I’m excited about all the opportunities I have for the next two months.

We continued our walk on the Promenade, where we encountered (in my opinion) some of the best street performers I’ve ever seen. They are a group of skate boarders and roller bladers who perform on the Promenade some days around sunset and they are really talented! While I had seen them before, it was fun to watch my mom experience the novelty of seeing them for the first time. Again, it reminded me just how unique Nice is.

Being a tour guide for my mom caused me to take pride in Nice in a way that I hadn’t before. By the time my mom came to visit, I had only called Nice “home” for seven weeks, yet I was proudly showing her the city and its people as if I had lived here much longer. I got to share with her my favorite parts of Nice—the Promenade at sunset and the flower market in Cours Saleya—as well as the routine spots of my daily life in Nice—L’Apo café (my favorite spot to get a coffee + study), Lycée Massena bus stop (where I catch the bus for school), and the Monoprix on Rue Lamartine (the grocery store with the best selection of trail mix). The more I pointed out to her, the more I valued Nice and the more I appreciated the opportunity to have this place be my home for four months.

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Rosemary Newsome

<p>My name is Rosemary Newsome, and I am studying abroad in Nice, France! I study finance and political science at TCU. For me, there is always something new out there to learn, make, do or play, and studying abroad in Nice offers a whole new arena in which I can do that. If you want to learn about the triumphs &amp; trials of a bright-eyed, goofy, restless, and French cuisine-loving girl, follow me as I immerse myself in the culture of a Riviera lifestyle!</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
Texas Christian University
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