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House-sitting

May 16, 2010

For those of us who live a more… ‘rooted’ lifestyle, figuring out where one will be spending the night is not something we ever think about except, of course, when booking a holiday. Being the itchy-footed girl that I am (that really sounded better in my head), this is a fairly regular question in my life. Before leaving Australia, I’d stayed over at friends’ homes, stayed at hotels and once or twice, stayed at a motel… oh, and a playground once, but I was 16 and that’s really a story for another time… Since arriving in the old world, however, I can add festival camp ground, car, hostel, bed-and-breakfasts and sublets to that list. There’s nothing like a fancy hotel, but sometimes circumstance just doesn’t offer that as a possibility… and sometimes what you’ve lost in luxury, you’ll more than gain back in experience.

On that note, about a month ago I sent a reply to an advert on MindMyHouse (a website that allows house sitters and home owners to contact each other). I don’t quite get why someone would give a perfect stranger the keys to their home as well as responsibility over a beloved pet(s). I’d be a good house-sitter, but they don’t know that! I am fastidiously clean (you should meet my mother; it explains everything), responsible, a considerate guest and I love animals. In fact, we left the last three apartments in better shape than what we received them in. Anyhoo, no need to sell anyone on any of that… the house-sit has been offered! It’s just south of Bordeaux (city) and I am so looking forward to it! They have an adorable dog who I have to walk a couple times a day, which is perfect because god knows I could use some exercise!

The timing is a bit tight… We have to be there on Thursday, which means leaving early Wednesday morning as there are no direct connections. Flying requires us to take 2-3 trains as well as staying overnight somewhere (Bologna, Basel or Strasbourg), so at this point I’m thinking we may as well take the overnight train… less mucking about required, no traipsing back and forth between hotel and airport, no check-in or baggage dramas… yep… ‘le train’ is the way to go… unfortunately, no website can tell me how much the ticket is going to cost as crossing borders seems to get everyone confused. Well, except for Deutsche Bahn. Bless ’em. They seem to be the only rail company whose website consistently has answers. They even had journey options for me to look at for this trip! They couldn’t give me a price or sell me the ticket, but considering that we are at no point entering Germany… fair enough, I guess. It’s more than I can expect to get from SBB (Swiss rail company) or SNCF (French rail company) or any other European rail company’s website. Wow, I feel traitorous saying that!

Nothing much I can do today then. Just packing, doing some laundry and cleaning the apartment. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to buy the tickets; such is life in the beautiful Swiss countryside… nothing is open on a Sunday. As you can see I am procrastinating nicely by blogging. I should stop. I really should do something. Yep. Okay… bugger.

N

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