183 – Bizarre Signs of Bordeaux: Part 1

A light hearted take on Bordeaux for a greasy November Saturday afternoon.

1) Gare St Jean


There are various explanations for this sign. None of which are very convincing. Any ideas, please leave a comment.

  1. Don’t walk on a triangle if the angles don’t add up to 180.
  2. Don’t use a springboard inside in a tent when there’s an air raid on.
  3. Beware! Pedestrians are liable to be catapulted into space at any time.
  4. You are not allowed to be lifted up by a drawbridge when the siren goes off (courtesy Stan Mellema).
  5. Warning! This road will turn into a steep hill when the siren sounds.

2) Jardin Public


Nothing particularly strange about this one I admit (une séance is ‘a showing’ in French). But this sign never fails to tickle me each time I walk into the Jardin Public.

‘The showing’ in question is the Guignol puppet show (French Punch and Judy) every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday during the school holidays. It’s all very innocent, but for some reason each time I see it, it conjures up images of loads of old French people dressed up in black suits and berets sitting in a circle connecting with the afterlife.

3) Rue Joseph Brunet

chick n pizz

The question here is. Can pizza be shortened to anything but pizza? Answer. No.

So why the proprietor of this takeaway took the opportunity to shorten it to Pizz, which sounds like the French word for a piss (un pisse) – as in English – is bizarre.

It could be that the proprietor doesn’t possess the same brand of lewd toilet humour that I have – which is probably true. But it doesn’t hide the fact that I won’t be eating chicken from there. Or pizza. Or pizz…

4) Rue Pascal Lafargue


This looks like an arse doesn’t it?


OK. Imagine you’re walking down a street enjoying the late autumn sunshine. You feel hungry. You feel like a sandwich. You casually peer into a shop window thinking it’s a bakery, hoping to see a rustic baguette filled with ham and brie.

Instead you see a horrifying picture of a hand smearing cream into a pair of bony buttocks. Your appetite recedes. Your afternoon is ruined.

(So OK, it’s an advert for an ointment for sprained knees and ankles that I saw in a pharmacy window. Still looks like a bottom).

5) Rue Professeur Demons


Picking up on the demons theme from my last post (Blogley 182) this little road off the Jardin Public, always forces a smile onto my weather-beaten face each time I walk along it.

Of course, if you know your medical history of France, you’ll be fully aware that the road has got nothing to do with spirits, seances or ghouls. And was named after the eminent 19th century Bordeaux doctor, Albert Demons, who, among others, identified a fibrous ovarian tumour in women. Meigs-Demons syndrome if you’re asking.

So Professor Demons, if you’re looking down from your morphine drenched heaven, I bet you’re mightily pleased to know that your road is getting plenty of foot-fall. And even happier in the knowledge that your gift to medical science has been immortalised in Blolgey.


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