Culinary Cruising: The Bored Millionaire

Marisol, the author of The Lady, the Chef and the Courtesan, a sensual, romantic novel that comes complete with recipes, has left landlocked Denver for a stint as a celebrity chef. She's sending daily missives from her temporary home: a cruise ship.

A few days later: Monte Carlo

I have officially lost track of time. This morning I leave the ship and walk, walk, walk ….on solid ground. I realize I don’t like the ocean, or life on a ship. I am dizzy. Very, very dizzy. I sit down for a bit and feel I’ve been drugged during the night.

After a while, I go to Via Garibaldi to mail a few postcards I’ve been carrying around. “How long to Venezuela?” I ask the clerk, in Italian. (They speak both French and Italian in Monaco.)

The man shrugs, “Due, trei…”

“Two or three days?” I ask. “That’s fast. How much?”

“No,” he says, in his accented English. “Months.”

What with three months on this end and xith months to get it delivered inside Venezuela, I decide to pull out my cell phone, take a photo of my surroundings and text it to my sister. The photo is of a flame-red, brand-new Ferrari, one of many in this part of the world!

In a separate text message I tell my sister: “Sent you postcard from Monte Carlo. But this is faster.”

The afternoon in Monte Carlo leads me to “the bored millionaire,” a handsome man a la James Bond dressed in a tuxedo at the entrance of the glorious Grand Casino de Monte Carlo (built in the mid-nineteenth century by Prince Charles III). The man is feeding E100 chips (yes, that’s a hundred Euro, about $160) into a giant slot machine that looks like the Wheel of Fortune. He looks sooo bored doing this I wonder if I have in fact been drugged, have somehow lost perspective while on board.

When I return to the ship, I find the Activities calendar they produce daily on my bed. One activity in particular catches my eye: “Catholic Mass, tonight at 7 p.m. at the Wajang Culinary Center.”

If God can float, perhaps he will fix the burner for my class the next day! -- Marisol

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun