We arrived in Bordeaux this morning as my fiancée went to work with locally based colleagues and I went straight to our Airbnb. I’d been warned that it didn’t have wifi, which is a problem, but was located, meaning there bars nearby that could have it. Turns out I also have a phone that has 4G and loads of data on it, so I don’t really need all that, but I like feeling safe in knowing that there are options.
The flat was 15 minutes on foot from the train station, hardly a tough ride. And it was pretty nice, too: Google Maps took me through super nice, old, narrow streets in the old Bordeaux, following what I later found out was the river (called the “Garonne”: I checked, I’d forgotten too). As I got to the place, there were two guys in dress shirts and ties waiting in front of the entrance speaking to each other in Italian. They then switched to French and started revelling in the intricacies of the pavement. Obviously real estate agents in look for a deal.
My Airbnb contact got out moments later, saw me, then saw the guys in dress shirts and started talking to them in Italian. After a while, I turned back to me:
- I’m sorry about that, do you want to follow me inside?
And I did. As soon as were in the corridor, he stopped:
- Listen, I know this is weird, I think I made a mistake…
- These 2 guys you saw in the street buzzed me on the intercom. I assumed it was you, so I answered.
- Makes sense…
- They started talking to me in Italian. I am Italian, so I answered.
- I would have too…
- Then they started saying weird stuff.
- They didn’t want to buy your flat?
- No, more like my soul. I think they’re Italian Jehovah’s witnesses.
- Explains the ties. But doesn’t explain why they are in Bordeaux… Do you have a large Italian community here?
- Not really?
- Within the Jehovah’s witnesses?
- I wouldn’t know…
- It’s fine, you can tell me…
- But I’m not one of them!
- I am.
- Can I have your keys now?
I then had to spend the next 5 minutes explaining that I was joking.