Day Twenty One- A Quiet One

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Europe » France » Île-de-France
July 15th 2018
Published: July 15th 2018
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Had a pretty chilled out day today activities wise, but it was once again pretty stressful! We checked out of the Bordeaux hotel and asked the front desk to call us a taxi to the train station, as it was 8:20am and we didn’t think we’d be able to flag one down that early. They said it would be a 20 minute wait, which wasn’t ideal (our train was at 9am) but we didn’t have any other choice- it would have taken a lot longer to walk. The taxi arrived after 14 minutes which we thought was a good sign, but it turns out he was a taxi driver from hell. Okay, maybe not from hell, but from a very annoying frustrating place.

He put our bags in the boot, and seemed to have a hard time getting the boot closed. Eventually he got it closed, but Trudi and I hadn’t heard a click so we silently agreed to keep an eye on it in case it flew up during the trip. As soon as we started driving, a beeping noise started. We knew straight away it was the boot. He didn’t speak much English which was fine, we don’t expect to be accommodated like that, but it was hard trying to tell him the boot wasn’t closed properly. He got us to open and close our doors, undo and re-click our seatbelts, even asked me to click in the middle seatbelt where no one was sitting. He gave up trying to figure it out and just kept driving, but the beeping seemed to annoy him too much and we kept stopping and starting. Eventually he realised it was the boot, and then we had to wait for him to rearrange everything to fit both bags in enough to close the door.
When we were finally underway, I noticed that the meter was already at €9. I used a mix of French and English to ask him about it, and he basically said that the meter started as soon as he left to come get us. Which, I suppose, is fair enough, but at this point we were definitely wishing we’d left early and just walked to the station with all our bags.
Anyway, we get to the station, he says it’s €20, we hand him a card, and he says he’s cash only. Neither of us have cash. The time is 8:50am. Expensive train is in ten minutes. Trudi runs to an atm, while the driver tries to make small talk with me. I do some subtle nods and keep frantically checking the time. Trudi comes back, throws a €20 note at his face and we run into the station. Signs are confusing. People are everywhere. We run and run and finally make it to the train, hop on, find our seats, and seat down just as the train takes off.

So it was a pretty chilled out day after that. We arrived back in Paris (this time staying in Montmartre) at 11:30am, but we couldn’t check into our accommodation until 2pm (we had asked the Airbnb owner if we could arrive earlier, but she hasn’t replied to any messages since we first booked back in March). So, because sitting at a proper cafe for 2.5 hours felt like we’d be imposing, we unwillingly headed to a Mcdonald’s and set up camp there. Although, I do think it’s pretty cool to see what other countries have at McDonald’s, I think it’s different everywhere. (And yes, they do call it a Royale with cheese).

We ate and played cards for the entire 2.5 hours, then headed off to our accommodation, which is actually super disappointing. The owner had left instructions for us to get in, but they were quite vague. Par exemple, after we finally found the right flat (because there were no instructions on how to find it from inside the big complex), the instruction was to enter the door on the right, however there were two doors on the right. We figured out which was which, and then the key wouldn’t work. We stood outside for 10 minutes wrestling with the key, and eventually I somehow unlocked it. The flat isn’t exactly “dirty”, but it gave off a vibe that made us really not want to touch anything. The bed is a fold out couch, which had been made with sheets and pillows, but then folded back up again, so we couldn’t be sure if the sheets were actually fresh or not. Anyway, we eventually got used to it. We’ve put some plastic bags down on the shower floor, so I think we’ll make do.

We headed out to get some groceries, but we’re only here for three nights so we didn’t get much. We then watched the France vs Croatia World Cup Final which was AWESOME! We’re so happy France won, because now everyone will be in a good mood for the rest of our time here. Had some microwave meals for dinner (it turned out to be quite an expensive day, what with the taxi and the groceries and such, so we decided to keep it low-key for dinner). We’re now listening to the sounds of sirens, horn beeps and singing (and some scary noises that sound like gunshots but are more likely something less sinister). Anyways, off to Euro Disneyland tomorrow! À bientôt!


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