Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 56: Return to Casino Royale

Dear Moneypenny,

I'm enjoying my time off in the French Riviera. One would think that with a record like mine I would get some appreciation around here. Would you believe this is the first uninterrupted vacation time I've had in 8 years? I think it's time to request a transfer. Q has notified me of a new hypnosis device he's working on to alter people's minds. Perhaps I will use this to increase my future vacation time.

Blending in as a civilian hasn't been easy. Dr. Proctor's intensively expensive plastic surgery procedure has proved worth while. Not only has it improved my looks but the Russians have yet to discover my new identity. To be absolutely sure my cover isn't blown I've buzzed my hair (which had gotten rather long while I was spelunking Thailand's volcanos).

With my new haircut and surgery I was undetectable!

Revisiting Monaco as a civilian has been less stressful but not as luxurious. The bus ride from Nice was humbling. I met some new acquaintances whom I spied on for the entire day. They were friendly but I believe they were double agents for the Chinese government. Their cover story was weak – the classic 'students traveling around Europe'. One of them was enrolled in a university in Spain for electrical engineering. The other one studied literary analysis and was only visiting Europe. Literary analysis sounded so dry I almost believed her. She also carried a camera – clearly gathering information for her government. I have no doubt if we ran background checks we would uncover the truth. Regardless, spending time with them was entertaining.

A Nice way to start the day.

We walked all over the city. Seeing it by foot was less fun than via Aston Marton but I didn't want to attract attention. Car chases are not conducive to relaxation. Additionally, walking gave us the opportunity to see the city better. During my visit 5 years ago, I didn't have time to walk around.

The ports and buildings were like peanut butter and jelly.
I've stayed in nicer.
I don't go to church.
Under construction
The yachts of Monaco.

The buildings were beautiful pastel colors and the views from the cliffs overlooking the harbors and sea were stunning. A brochure informed us about the changing of the guard so we weaved our way from the bus stop to the palace.

Unique colors.
Crowded streets near the palace with Monaco's flag.
A fresh coat.

Watching the changing of the guard was fascinating. We had to wait in a large crowd of people for nearly half an hour before the procession began. In terms of security, we have nothing to learn from the Monaco Palace guards. I easily spotted all their weak points. Infiltration would be easy.

Unfortunately, the queen didn't recognize me.

Spies can always sweet talk someone into taking a photo.

Continuing our walk, I enjoed having time to watch the yachts bob in the harbor instead of rigging them with explosives. The size of these yachts is surprising. While they're nothing compared to the craft I've piloted over the years, these rich civilians are able to afford some advanced gadgetry.

Cactus and boat.
When I retire I will buy a yacht and travel the world.
This yacht was garnished with a jet ski, and Segway transportation devices.
I park my cars on my yacht.

Standing in front of the Monte Carlo casino flooded me with fuzzy memories of my many nights spent there. I attempted entry but I was refused. Can you believe it? I suppose plastic surgery has its advantages and disadvantages. Due to all the martinis I previously enjoyed there, I nearly forgot what the casino looked like. It was beautiful. I was surprised there was only one Ferarri parked out front.

The infamous Monte Carlo Casino.
Even though it wasn't officially open it was still bustling with people.
I drive these all the time.
The diamonds must give this spying device additional durability.

My vacation to Monaco and Monte Carlo was short but fun. Next time I return it will be in a suit because the city isn't the same without a bout of gambling in the casino. I can't wait till Q finishes that hypno-disk. I look forward to more civilian living!


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