Michelle's nouned version of 'Eat, Pray, Love' (Hostels, Scenery, Charity) travel blog

We get into Bordeaux around 8 am. It's raining. Since we've been told by the bus manager that all the Marseille folk are going to Bordeaux for the weekend to enjoy the weather and wine, this seems a little odd; however, we're sure that it will pass. We enter the city proper, and all is gray and dirty. Sex shops line the streets and “lap dance” signs light up the pavement. Still, we're sure it will get better. We arrive at the hotel, where the manager does not seem even a little pleased to see us. In French, she tells us to "quickly hide our bags, I have customers waiting" (what are we??) and to come back at 2:30.

We slink out of the hotel and begin to explore. For no reason at all, old people glare at us. High school gothic students make fun of us (literally). We stop at a cathedral and throw bread at pigeons to amuse ourselves. More old people glare at us. We’ve managed to kill two hours by wandering, but we still have three more to go. It begins to pour rain, so we sit on a covered stoop. I attempt to ask an old man where we are, but he appears to think I’m a beggar and refuses to make eye contact or to answer. Jack asks again in French, and we get a gruff response that we are very far away from anything.

The rain lets up, and Chris and I begin to sing “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” and the CU fight song, while Jack quotes episodes of “It’s always sunny in Philadelphia” to himself. Somehow, we find ourselves blocks from our hotel. It looks different than it did at 8, though, as three blocks have been sectioned off with caution tape and police cars block all entrances. There are three fire trucks and ambulances interspersed, as well. A hooker probably got shanked.

Jack is desperate for coffee, so we head into a shop on the corner. Inadvertently, we’ve managed to stumble into an off-track horse gambling venue but, since they have espresso and it’s begun to pour rain again, we stay. After 20 minutes of watching horse racing, fending off beggars, and being yelled at in French, we decide to ignore our rude French hotel manager and return to camp out in the lobby. When we get back to the hotel, luck is on our side. A young man has wandered into our hotel and collapsed on the couch. He has three half-consumed bottles of alcohol with him and, between passing out and reviving himself, appears to be sobbing into a cell phone. The hotel has worse problems than American backpackers to deal with, so they allow us to go to our room early. (Side note: 20 minutes later, another ambulance arrived to cart off the unwelcome drunkard).

In an attempt to redeem this day, Jack, Chris, and I have just consumed one bottle of wine and gone to the supermarket to buy cheese, chocolate, baguettes, and four more bottles of wine (yes, this sounds excessive, but it’s only 5:00. We have a long night ahead of us). (New note: Jack would like it noted that 5 bottles is not excessive. Since it takes me one bottle to be good for the night, we have different definitions of excessive). The food is delicious and, for 1.98, the wine is not half bad either. Our hotel overlooks the street, so we’ve been entertaining ourselves by throwing bread and cheese out the window and betting each other as to which pigeon will triumph and get the morsels. I’ve named the two top runners Mia and Jose. That’s about all that can be said for Bordeaux: they have amusing pigeons. We’re going to splurge tonight and try to find a good French restaurant, because tomorrow we’re heading to Germany. We’re not sure where, yet, but we’re done with France and apparently, it’s done with us. Stay tuned for our adventures in the land of beer and meat.

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