Expat life

Finding a flat and showering in Bordeaux

After finding a job, I was ready to find a flat to rent. I thought it would be hard because it was almost September and the university students were returning. Also I’d been following a thread on Couchsurfing.org where a girl was finding it difficult to find a ‘colocation’ and was looking for assistance. The thread quickly became a forum for this amusing argument:

Daniel Lee – Each time I return to the city of Bordeaux the world comes crashing down on my shoulders and I quickly fall into depression and feel isolated. The reason, I believe, is due to the spirit reigning over the city. The wealth of Bordeaux was built upon the backs of negro’s in the slave trade, something for which the Bordelais have never repented and are proud of it. The spirit over the city and which is in the hearts of those born here, is slavery. Bordeaux is also an occult, idolotrous city under a curse. The reason is that Bordeaux is entirely Free Masonic. Free Masonry is an occult secret society and their beliefs, signs and symbols are written everywhere, in a language hidden in plain sight, within the entire city. It is a city of darkness and if it can it will pull you in, imprison you and not let you go.

Fredthehatter – Daniel, since i met you, you were the most negative person i met in the world. You know, there is a very truth which is people gives you back exactly what you give them, so, when you’re positive, you have positive answers and encounters wherever you are and if you’re negative, you get the same. So, before moving to south america, change yourself and the world around you will change as well.

Daniel Lee – Fred, I have hosted 159 people, most of whom say positive things about me and most of whom I have said positive things about. However, I need not justify myself. I am entirely a realist and the things I say are based on fact, personal experience and research. Change yourself! I make no bones about the fact that although we have met a few times and we have politely tolerated each other, fact is we do not like each other. Probably, the fact that I exposed openly that you slept with a couch surfer explains your negative attitude toward me. Next time I see you I’ll tell you face to face what I think of you and you will be wise to keep your distance from then on.

Entertaining but not so helpful. A Facebook group entitled No flat, no roommates… !HELP! I’m foreigner and I’m in Bordeaux!  even sprung out of the Couchsurfing thread and I followed other people’s trials and tribulations in their house hunts. But for me it turned out to be very easy to find a place to live.

In short: I got lucky.

I asked around at the bar and one of the regulars knew a girl who was leaving Bordeaux and looking for somebody to take her room. I took one look at the flat and it was love at first sight.

sofa in lounge

The living room featuring an improvised pull-up bar and decorative bike

dinner table

Les grandes fenêtres – The large windows!

view from window

…and a nice street view

I moved in the week after and although, to begin with, I will be subletting and not be on the contract, I was pleased with the flat.

I liked the tasteful decoration; the original cartoons of these fatalistic, cannibalistic cat-humans drawn by an unknown artist and pinned up in the toilet.

Blood cafe Boiling a cat Fatalistic sunbathing Fishing with cats Jolie brise Rat pirate

It appeared to have everything:

  • Relaxed flatmates
  • Excellent stereo system
  • Washing machine
  • Tons of cooking equipment and utensils, even a ‘sausage claw’ and a ‘QUICK&HOT’
quick & hot

Who needs a kettle when you got a QUICK&HOT?

sausage claw

La griffe de la saucisse

…But then I went to take a shower and was confronted with this:

One of them notorious sit-down showers?

It’s not one of them God damn sit-down showers is it?

sit down shower

Yep, it bloody well is

In a previous post about short-term renting I offered an explanation of what a sit-down shower is. Basically, I like to be able to stand-up and shower hands-free. It seems that this is not a preference that I share with the French. But enough is enough: I didn’t want to merely exist in this flat, I wanted to live here. I couldn’t start drilling into the tiles as I wasn’t even on the contract yet but I managed to find a solution in the form of a this shower-head holder that could be attached to tiles by a powerful suction lock.

selfie shower

Me with my MX Group Easy Lock Suction Handset Holder in Chrome

spring loaded

Motherf***ing spring-loaded suction cup, baby!




6 thoughts on “Finding a flat and showering in Bordeaux

    • There’s no doubt about it Daniel Lee has a point here. Bordeaux is sombre city reflected in the drabness of the Garonne’s murky waters. Most of my encounters, be it with landlords, hairdressers, dentists, shop-owners, restaurants have been worryingly negative experiences. I have lived in many cities ranging from NewYork, London, Paris, on and on, and I have never had as many conflicts as I’ve had here. What Daniel says makes me think too, of all those dreadful realities of the students that drowned in the river and the father who just recently threw his baby into the Garonne, not to mention the man from the local photocopy shop who I knew and who was murdered here. No matter with all the renovations and painting of the facades, there’s an underlying “insalubrity” and seediness that one experiences or hears encounters again and again. The city is probably paying for a transgenerational wrongdoing. The negativity is being transgenerated.
      Time to leave and without any regret.

  1. Forgot to mention that because of dishonest landlords, two of them cost me my health here by renting lodgings that were not meant for habitation. Disguised insalubrity: Beware of leaking roofs, asbestos roofs, dampness and paint that’s cracking with lead in it. it caused me to have asthma and permanent breathing problems.

  2. I have a some interesting bric n ‘ bric to be sold in January, electric tristar kettle, toaster, laps, fridge all 5 euros each. Two lovely white tables 15 euros each. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if interested.

  3. Just a comment à propos to a comment made about Daniel Lee and negativity. I nearly died laughing when I read a conflict exposed on couchsurfing between Daniel Lee and an American woman – verbal martial arts – tremendous humour, definitely worth a read.

  4. Pingback: The first week of working a ski season in the Alps | drinking it all in...

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