Few tourists venture to the eastern Crimean hamlet of Staryi Krym which is precisely why it was there that my good friend Currado Malaspina celebrated Christmas.
Known mostly for the 14th century Surb Kach monastery and the equally ancient Ozbek Han mosque, this Tartar town is the perfect place in which to disappear.
And while he spent a quiet fortnight relaxing at the peninsula's rustic though adequate spa (he loves mud baths, olive branch thrashings and deep intestinal massage), he was nonetheless noticed by some of the area's more internet savvy young people.
|Image from the Facebook page of Rusça Sakav whose caption read "the Black Sea darkens under the shadow of Currado"!|
It is often forgotten that Currado is a reluctant recluse. He enjoys the spotlight and has spent many years cultivating the image of a bed-hopping, barroom brawling bon-vivant. It is simply that through the years he has grown weary of the constant pressure to perform.
Most people don't realize how hard it is to behave like an artist.
And so he is always on the prowl for obscure, anonymous places where he can retreat, reflect and decompress from the arduous routine of being a notorious French celebrity.
Maybe next year he could try Orange County.