Like most people I enjoy a beer at around six o’clock. And luckily that alcoholic alarm call of two hands to the vertical is as respected here in Bordeaux as anywhere else.
The best price I’ve found so far is €3 for a pint of Budwar at the Vintage Bar on Rue Saint-James. Which having lived in a variety of European cities over the years is as good as you’re going to get.
Although saying that there was a bizarre place in Salamanca I remember that dispensed litre bottles of Mahou beer from a vending machine in the corner for a couple of Euros. But looking back I’m not sure that was a bar. More a room glued onto the side of a student nightclub where people could sit on the floor, drink heavily and then pass out. Something like that anyway…
The Vintage Bar is a low lit bare bricked room selling nothing but beer and whiskey with The Doors on a continual loop. When I walked in The Whiskey Song was playing so I ordered a ‘Bud Pint’ and a chaser for old time’s sake. I used to be a big Doors fan and like everybody else I knew who was in a band, had long hair, wore velvet jackets and frilly shirts, I thought I was Jim Morrison.
‘Tell me the way to the next whiskey bar…’ droned on Jim as I sat down in the corner to mull over the day.
The job seekers interview went well. I understood most of the what the lady asked me, even if I couldn’t reply to all her questions. A simple nod of my head indicating to her that my mind was still processing her last question. ‘But please continue.’
At one point she had to come round the back of me to help me fill in a form. At exactly the same moment my brain stopped working and I forgot how to spell Bordeaux. I got as far as B-O- before she had to prompt me with the rest: R-D-E-A-U-X she said slowly over my back like I was a three year old learning to read and write.
We both got through it though and as I walked back home I felt relieved. Relieved that I was officially on the system and might even get some dole money – having three course lunches everyday does put a strain on the old bank balance as I mentioned last time.
I plan to get a job though as soon as possible. Probably some bar work to start with, then some teaching work, then something else. Something I haven’t thought of yet. Things always come your way when you least expect them. Like Jim Morrison styled whisky bars in the middle of Bordeaux selling a Bud Pint for €3.