Bordeaux part I: Bonjour! Bienvenue à Bordeaux (not Boudoir)

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You surprise me with your Beauty, Bordeaux! (photo taken around 8pm summer time)

I’m sure all of you are confused on how the words Bordeaux and Boudoir are related. ‘Yes, they are both French words, but it doesn’t mean it’s the same thing!’ as I scowl at my friend. When we first plan the trip, my friend always has trouble pronouncing the word ‘Bordeaux.’ She confuses it with ‘Boudoir’ as it’s part of a famous brand in Thailand. I must say she uses the word Boudoir till the time our feet hit Bordeaux ground, that’s when she finally gets it right, when the airport staff says ‘Bonjour! Bienvenue à Bordeaux!’

The night before the flight…

Let me rewind to the sleepless night in Seattle, whoops, wrong city reference, I mean in London.

Flight info: depart to Bordeaux from Gatwick airport 6.45am (next day)
Hotel info: decide to stay at a hotel near Gatwick airport the night before to extend sleeping time (oh boy did that plan backlash)

10.37pm

Current location: apartment in Central London
Status of ready-to-go: Packing and repacking
Hunger status: Snacks would be nice
Next step plan: Finding taxi

Transportation is mostly the hardest and most expensive part of traveling. Finding taxi at night to get to the hotel near Gatwick airport isn’t easy. First we try Uber, as our friend suggests that they give 20 pounds credit for free, but only for first riders…in which all of us used their service before. Sooo…

11.04pm

Current location: apartment in Central London
Status of ready-to-go: Packed
Hunger status: Some snacks might kill the stress
Next step plan: using various apps to find taxi

We click on request for big taxis as we have 2 huge luggages, at this time it is probably normal that we don’t get responses right away. We are starting to get tired, thinking of when will we get to the hotel, and how much time we’ll get to sleep, and have to wake up at 4am then god knows how we’ll get to the airport in early morning. Then, bing bing bing, the apps alert that there has been responses, we compare the prices of the 2 companies, the cheaper one is still at 80 pounds but we’ll take it.

11.24pm

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Waiting for taxi

Current location: outside in the cold (still Central London)
Status of ready-to-go: just go already!
Hunger status: just wanna sleep
Next step plan: hoping the taxi can find our location

It is probably the longest 10 minutes I have ever experienced. The coldness makes me ‘shake it off’ like Taylor Swift, so me and my friend decide to huddle up and go inside a nearby building while still eyeing for any suspecting car.

11.34pm

google map
Google map to the rescue

Current location: On the way
Status of ready-to-go: Sit and relax, we’re almost there
Hunger status: forget bout food, I need sleep
Next step plan: fall into the bed

An hour-ish ride from central London to Gatwick is a very dark path, like black black, not orange is the new black. If the taxi decides to kidnap or take us to somewhere else we certainly won’t realize it. However, a good thing about this taxi is it has wifi! We constantly check up on google maps on how long it will take to reach our destination. Plus, if we can’t enjoy the view, we can enjoy the social media.

12.46am

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So tempting….

Current location: Hotel
Status of ready-to-go: exhausted
Hunger status: Too tired to eat (Not even ben and jerry’s vending machine can excite me at this moment)
Next step plan: BED. NOW.

No traffic is heaven, we reach there less than what google maps estimated. Booya! As luck would have it the hotel also has shuttle bus to the airport early morning and a tv screen which shows which gate to go to. You can even check the flight status on their interactive screen. All possible problems seem to have their solutions, now we can rest happily.

Departing day 6.20am

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Freshen up with some ‘Chocolat chaud’ (more french words coming!)

Current location: Gatwick airport
Status of ready-to-go: Practicing basic French words Bonjour! vin rosé s’il vous plaît
Hunger status: Hangry! (Hungry + Angry)
Next step plan: Bon voyage!

Having less than 3 hours of sleep sure makes you a little dizzy, but the excitement of landing in France in couple hours will clear all your ‘fatigue’ (also a French word means very tired) away. Boarding the plane, I realize something that I’ve never seen before. Normally planes will be full of various types and age of passengers, but seeing the destination is Bordeaux, famous for their wine, there is no wonder that everywhere I look, I only see the ‘silver hair’ people (Nope, not the hippie teens).

9.30am

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Snacks on plane (not snakes on plane ;p)

Current location: Wine city
Status of ready-to-go: arrived
Hunger status: Thirsty
Next step plan: Explore, Dine, Wine.

Little nap in the plane help boost our energy by petite, but what really wake us up is when the immigration staff greets us with…. “ Bonjour! Bienvenue à Bordeaux!”

‘Say what?’ asks my friend.

It is very common to struggle to understand what the French people say when you first arrive their beautiful country. First, they speak French… fluent French.. no, fast fluent french! Well, well, let’s see how we will survive this! Let’s gooo!!!

To be continued….or shall i say à suivre.

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