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Cannes Diary

Entry Two: Tuesday, May 14, 2002

10:30am comes far too quickly and my second day in Cannes begins (little did I know how many people I would kill later on to get up as late as 10:30--a feat that didnít happen again until almost two weeks later). Thatís when I have my first encounter with the European shower. Itís a relatively small bathtub thatís raised a good ways off of the ground, giving you plenty of chances to slip and break your neck both getting in and getting out of it, especially when the floors wet, which is always is because of the rest of the design. Thereís no shower curtain and no traditional, American showerhead. Thereís a faucet and then a hand spray. And no shower curtain. This means you have to maneuver this spray around your body while standing in a small tub with very little room to move--and you do this without drowning the entire room. Not easy. I imagine itís not a problem at all for people who grew up with it--Iím sure it becomes second nature after a while, but for a Stupid American approaching this for the first time, I was readying myself for a mess. After experimenting rather comically with it (including lying down in the tub), I got dressed and headed out to the living room to see a nice continental breakfast waiting for Shreevar and I.

I left to meet Dan and Stefan outside at a small cafť down the street. We walked down the steep street next to ours and stopped by a hole-in-the-wall key shop to have our house keys copied. We then made our way over to the Registration Center, where one of the Penn groups was going to try out their luck in getting their Market passes.

Luckily, they came out equipped with their deluxe Marche du Film tote bags, which were loaded up with an astounding array of pointless advertising material as well as some handy pocket guides to the movies showing and some heavy and intimidating guides to all of the companies and people attending the Festival. They also had on their professional-looking passes, which would soon become an extra part of our bodies over the coming weeks. We grabbed a small lunch at a kiosk near the registration center and soon headed off for our first meeting. After this, my group finally together, we headed off to get our Market passes. Oh, and allow me to make it clear here, the job I had at this point (which I retired from in early June) was the Director of Marketing for the prestigious LBN Productions. Oh yeah, and I graduated in early May, so it wouldnít make any sense for me to be registered as a student in the Cannes database. Just wanted to clear that up...

We circulated around a little more and stopped at a small bar where we got a chance to answer the Coke/beer/wine Money Question. Which will cost the least at this bar: Diet Coke, beer, or a glass of wine? The answer? The glass of wine. The drink that cost the most? The Diet Coke. We learned very quickly here that, in France, wine is cheaper than water. Literally. It was here that decided that I was going to only drink wine while in Cannes...when soda is viewed more as a specialty drink and the house wine is the cheapest thing on the menu, thereís really only one choice I could make. With the LBN group together, we headed off to dinner now at Pizzeria Toscano.

With Stefan and Danny heading back towards their rooms, Lisa, Lauren, and I began wandering the city again. With Opening Night still another day away, the town was still relatively quiet. None of the big names or business bigwigs would be showing up until the festival was in full swing. It was nice to walk around the town in such quiet times, but we were also getting antsy for some of the excitement to begin. We meandered our way over to the Palais, the major festival building, and, thanks to our ubiquitous Market passes, they let us in even though the building should have closed hours before. Downstairs, it turned out that the main floor of kiosks and booths was barely even finished yet and there was still a lot of work that needed to be done. We figured out that the reason they let us in was that they probably thought we were there to set up our display booth for the next dayís activities. Little did they know that we were really just wandering aimlessly and this gave us something interesting to do, especially since the main room we happened upon was the Internet Cafť, which was up and running. Happy to sit down and finally have Internet and email access, I logged onto the computer and began my first of many hellish experiences with the Evil European Keyboard. What made it bad was not that it changed a lot of different keys because it really didnít. What made it terrible was that it changed just enough to make sure that you constantly messed up every sentence you wrote unless you were staring at the keyboard the whole time and were typing at about 20 words a minute. Needless to say, my once-impressive two-fingered typing skills were taken out of the vault and brushed up here. Really, though, what scared me the most was not actually typing on these keyboards, but that I might actually get used to them. And, believe it or not, after a few days, I actually did, which meant that I could no longer type on normal keyboards! I just wasnít going to win here.
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Outside the Lumiere while it's prepared for Opening Day

The casino girls cruise by...
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