Day Two dawned bright and clear in the underground car park, with the blue-tinged haze of the fluorescent lights streaming in our window. Alas, there was no time to bask in its warm glow, as there were morning ablutions to be performed, and nowhere to perform them. We could hardly go ask the parking attendant for running water, after sneaking in under his nose the night before.
No, much like The Littlest Hobo of vintage Canadian television fame, it was time to be movin’ on. We toyed with going to the campsite outside town but when I envisioned myself riding my bike the 20 minutes home at 3 am after a night of networking, I didn’t like what I saw. Anyway, to camp you need a tent and a Coleman stove and stuff like that, and all we had was this van and a heart as big as the whole prairie sky.
We ended up in a great little spot near the beach, across from the water and beside a hedge, which seemed cosy and safe until we stepped out of the van and smelled the urine. Apparently we arrived right after someone’s ablutions. Unpleasant, but the practical gardener in me appreciates that the hedge can be both decorative and functional.
We cleaned up, brushed our teeth and spat on the hedge, hauled out the bikes, which had been cleverly bungeed to the van walls, and rode down the beach. It was very pleasant indeed, and made me feel sad for the poor suckers who don’t think to bring bikes to film festivals. I rode one in the Berlinale snow, and in Toronto, the city where the crack-smoking mayor seems to endorse mowing down cyclists, and Cannes is definitely Top Cycling Festival.
We stopped at the first café we saw, where we drank espresso and charged our phones and posted things on the internet. In that moment, I defy anyone to say we didn’t look exactly like the other 12,000 Cannes delegates. And we had a plan to gain their level of respectability, at least for one day. A clever plan. As we drained our coffee cups, I was already rubbing my hands together gleefully, chortling with the sheer genius of it all…