This is a reprint of a Blog I wrote last year at the beginning of the tourist season here in the South:

J’en ai marre !!!!!

The tourist season has officially begun here on the French Riviera. What always arrives with the hordes is the inevitable and harsh criticism of French driving habits.

I’d like to intercept a bit with this blog before the Anglophones really start getting flagrant down here!

Everyone knows that anyone’s life can be irrevocably destroyed by an intoxicated or mentally disturbed driver on the road in any country by a driver of any nationality. My question is why have the French, in particular, been given such a bad rap as drivers?

I have been recipient many times of French driving hospitality. What I have found is that my French friends and acquaintances have displayed skill and grace at ever turn…so to speak. It’s no wonder, I later learned, considering what they have to go though in order to earn the privilege to drive in their country.

How may of you who have criticized the French actually studied for the French Permis de Conduire?

Drivers License

Too scared, right?

And I’m willing to bet…too broke!

Then, that means you don’t know bupkis about anything French.

Want to know how I came to this conclusion? Because it is expensive, difficult and studying for it would actually result in an evolution of thinking that would cause you to realise that you had no prior knowledge of what it takes to understand of the Gallic approach to manoeuvring safely through life in France. My philosophy is in order to criticize the French you should have been educated in France and taught by the French. How else can one understand the cultural nuances of a country which has the power to seduce millions of people through its doors, whether they be rich or poor, yellow green or blue, to a place which is probably the most complicated in all of Europe? Even people from rich and powerful countries are willing to test their fate in a country which for years will render them functional illiterates!

Years ago I took the driving school plunge…so I know of what I write.

I can’t overstate the fact that the pursuit of the French Permis de Conduire is an expensive, lengthy but profoundly informative study of the psychology of the French population. Believe me, studying this will enhance one’s relationships with the French people you encounter, do business with or with whom one becomes intimately involved. It will even enable one to distinguish a foreign driver from a French one.

Imagine that!

Case in point:

One sunny afternoon, a fellow student, who is also an American, and I left another gruelling session of La Code de la Route to stop at a corner café. As we approached the curb, a car came screeching towards us in a completely misguided attempt to park in a no parking zone.

Mr. America, hisses, ., “Look at that. After they get their permits, all rules fly out the window. How typically French!

My response was, “What makes you think the driver is French?”

He pointed to the French License plate on the Italian Fiat, and said, “Look… 06 (the code for the Alpes Maritimes)!”

As if on cue, two men emerge from the car, sharing a typically boisterous conversation in Italian!

Typically French, right?

So, this is the advice from yours truly…the Expat Curmudgeon Writer on the Côte d’Azur…to American drivers in France. Stop criticizing…stay alert and either take your bigotry and pack it in your little back packs and go back home… or just get off the road and take the friggin’n bus!


feel free to visit: thenovelladyfingers.wordpress.com

an excerpt from GINGERSNAPS: a novel

excerpt from GINGERSNAPS: a Novel


Chapter One

And the nominees are. . .

Aletha leaned back and slowly rotated her head, feigning a stiff neck, at the same time sliding her eyes–heavily lashed for the occasion–discreetly about

the huge auditorium. It was a controlled and practiced act of self-conscious discretion, as she did not want to appear so wide-eyed and childishly star struck, especially after all these years.

Famous and infamous faces were everywhere!

Elegantly and not-so-elegantly clad in other famous people’s haute couture, these show business folks were trying to mask their quite natural and inborn lust for public accolades with bogus airs of insouciance.

It’s all pretty political, you know . . . doesn’t mean a thing, most of them had said at one time or another . . . usually after having lost, Aletha thought, smirking to herself.

Aletha returned her gaze to the stage. She looked up at the podium with rapt attention, her large, black eyes swiftly frisking the two celebrities. One of them was about to announce her name, along with the others on the list of the very best of the season.

The long, dark, tall one–a veteran of the industry–with what looked like silver dust elegantly sprinkled around his temples, clad in a fabulous-looking Brioni tuxedo, used to star in her teenage erotic fantasies. Now there he was in person, about to acknowledge her–from those full, plum-colored, juicy lips, acknowledge her as one of the contenders.

The female co presenter, a dowager queen of a daytime soap opera, was wearing an inadequate little frock. It looked like something that Bill Blass might have sketched during his off-hours. The recent face-lift was a bit too obvious as well–girlfriend was looking a little Chinese tonight, Aletha mused, giggling.

“What are you laughing about, Aletha?” her escort asked, lightly touching the hand which had been resting on her lap.”

Shhh . . . Reggie,” she snapped, placing the index finger of one hand over her lips and slapping his hand away with the other.

Even though she was one of the famous ones too, she still found herself on those occasions pinching the tight flesh of her forearm from time to time in order to confirm the reality of her situation.”

The Veronica Stone Show, Bob Dennison and Kathy Myerson, producers”,

A large wad of mucous had knotted up in Aletha’s throat. She wanted to cough but had to seize control; only hours ago she had slithered into a too-tight Azzadine Alaia number, and she had no intention of bursting out of it for all of America to witness. The gossip columnists would have a field day . . . but then, they probably already were. They always managed to come up with something . . . even in a vacuum. She had to remind herself, though, that those same vultures were the very people who had helped make her who she was–rich, famous, powerful, and a more familiar presence in most homes than Lemon Fresh Joy.

“ . . . The Dabney Wilkin’;s Show . . . Maxine Tyler, producer.” Ms. Dowager Queen continued.

Reggie, her friend and lover for over five years, reached over and reassuringly held her hand. Aletha gently removed her hand from his, placed it on his cheek, and adoringly stroked the smooth, tan flesh.

He jerked his head away from her in response.

Aletha’ss brow furrowed for a moment, and she pursed her lips as she was about to register her displeasure with Reggie. She was hurt and annoyed that he had pulled his body away from her, but she had a much more  important issue to think about at that moment.

“. . . and The Aletha Brown Show . . . Veronica McPherson, producer . . . “ Juicy Plum Lips added.


Aletha glanced quickly around the auditorium to see who was looking at her–with envy, she was sure–then her eyes locked with Geraldo’s.

He winked.

She looked away from him, her chin raised to a point just below smug, and she relished the fact that he was not among the list of nominees for the first time in who knew how many years, and she was.

Of course, he had won the damned thing zillions of times and she had yet to get the award, despite being nominated five damned times in a row. She had no doubts that this year would be the year of The Aletha Brown Show.

She looked over at her producer, Veronica, sitting next to her escort, Derrick, whose arm was supportively draped around her shoulders.

Aletha grabbed Reggie’s arm, then awkwardly and comically ducked her head beneath it and placed it around her shoulders.

It was a far cry better than cheek rubbing.

Aletha slipped her stockinged feet back into her Charles Jordan pumps as she positioned herself to get up to accept her award–the acceptance speech was readying itself in her brain.

”The envelope, please.”

At that instant, something Aletha couldn’t see caused the Soap Star to stumble to the floor. The envelope then flew from her hand and landed across the stage. Juicy Plum Lips went over to help the actress up, and then he had to walk a mile and a half–or so it seemed to Aletha–to recover the envelope.

“Damn! What’s wrong with the old broad anyway? What’s she got? Some kind of joint disease in the old knees or something? Some people just don’t know when to step down! She should just retire. Look at her!”

“Aletha, calm down!” Reggie commanded.”

And the winner is . . .” Juicy Plum Lips began as Aletha leaned the heel of her hand into Reggie’s thigh as a support to get up, negotiating as elegantly as she could around her constricting gown.

“Ouch! Aletha, be careful! What are you doing?” Reggie whispered, grabbing her hand and trying to ease her back into her seat.

“. . . The Victoria Stone Show!!!”

Thunderous applause and Aletha’s own anger exploded in her head. That nitwit hussy Victoria Stone, with all those fist-fighting guests, had won the statue, Aletha raged to herself.

Tears threatened to leap from her eyes.

She glanced over at Reggie, who had a look of alarm on his face as he noticed that hers was now fixed in a contorted portrait of outraged disbelief.

“Are you okay, Aletha?” he whispered, taking her hand in his and raising it to his lips to kiss it. She snatched her hand away.


She couldn’t believe it! Her fifth loss in five years. She didn’t care how many people said that it was all purely political. It didn’t matter that she was as rich as milk chocolate, or that she had a gorgeous man who loved her–Althea Brown wanted that statue!

“The Victoria Brown Show my ass,!”; Aletha hissed, loud enough for her producer and a couple of others to hear.

“Who in the hell is she sleeping with?”

“Shhh! Aletha, look . . . you know you are fabulous. You’re still in prime time, baby!” Reggie soothed.

If he couldn’t massage her damaged ego by the end of the ceremony he knew he’d have one big, high-drama, angst-filled evening–perhaps week–even month–ahead of him.

“Look, your show has a lot more integrity than that Victoria Stone’s, honey,” Reggie lied, trying to pacify her.

“You’ve got that right, Reg.”

She looked around and caught Geraldo’s eye.

He winked, again.

She turned away, sucked her teeth, and crossed her legs. Her right foot hit the seat in front of her, breaking the heel of her expensive Charles Jordans.

“Damn! Look what you’ve made me do, Reggie!” she hissed, needing at that moment to blame the person closest to her for anything and everything.

Reggie knew it was going to be a long night.

His eyes fell on her beautiful breasts, which were swelling with indignation. At that instant he smiled to himself, thinking that just maybe when they got back to her place he’d tear that tantalizingly tight gown from her body and mollify her with some ardent and libidinous gymnastics.


Arena 1

We had yet to visit La Muséee Asiatique de Nice, so since the weather was a little ‘iffy’ today, this seemed like the perfect time for museum stuff.


The museum is located in Nice’s Industrial Park, across from the Airport called, Porte de L’Arenas.  The Industrial Park contains a complex of buildings which houses over 200 business enterprises.  Remember the movie, Logan’s Run?  The whole area gives off that kind of surrealistically futuristic vibe, not unlike the Industrial Park in Monaco’s city of Fontvieiile.



Designed as a meeting place between man and nature, The Phoenix Park is located at the entrance of Nice at the airport.  It extends over 7 hectares.  There are over 2500 species of plants preserved in a Meditterranean settimg and consisting of twenty theme gardens with sound.








Tha Asian Arts Museum is build on a lake in Phoenix Park, was commisonned by the General Council of the Alpes Maritimes and designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.  The intent of this project is the harmonious mix of Asian Arts and Western Culture.

Come…take a look:
Areans 15

Beautiful, n’est-ce-pas?

 photos by Delorys Welch Tyson

A bientôt!!!

Meet the Ladies from LADYFINGERS: a novel

Madame Arthuretta Bozell is the owner of a discreet lifestyle makeover service called Ladyfingers. Needless to say, in today’s world, this business has made her fabulously wealthy.

Meet some of her clients:

Amelia Jackson: The internationally famous Pop Diva, who after ending her tumultuous romance with the record mogul, Paxton Cummings, begins a new life on the French Riviera. She becomes embroiled in a passionate affair with her handsome, but mysterious, and much younger Belgian lover.

The Heiress Leslie Vanderhoven:the sole scion of a media dynasty, who has fled her fireman lover for a new life and romance with her East Somarian Sheik in France.

The Countess Sara Haggener: After spending 5 years in the state prison, simply because she had the wrong boyfriend, is finally able to begin life anew.

The Baroness Kitty Von Denmarke: An untimely injury has forced her to end her career as a ballet dancer for the Los Angeles Ballet Company. To make matters worse, a series of humiliating occurrences compel her to flee the country.

Lolly DaLilla, the celebrated Queen of the Las Vegas Strip, has finally landed the man of  his dreams…the billionaire shipping magnate, Janus Daropopolis;

and finally…bearing whitness to it all, is ex-Psychiatric Social worker andauthor of a best selling self help book, Dr. Desiree Brown Simon!

With such flamboyant personage populating the French Riviera, it is no wonder that a group of East Somarian kidnappers emerge to lay in wait, for the right moment to take hostages for the political and financial demands of their anti-Sanction Society.

Ladyfingers gives new meaning to American foreign relations, during the new millenium Administration of George W. Bush.

(Available in Hardcover and Trade Paperback)

By the way, Ladyfingers is the sequel to Delorys Welch-Tyson’s bestselling novel Gingersnaps!



the author, Delorys Welch Tyson

(google images)