Caught in the act...

Little desk, 4th floor, Poitiers, somewhat south of Paris

...

I was tumbled.

I went to see the first Real Estate Agent and explained that I’m here in Poitiers to get a feel for the region as part of my research before possibly buying a house in France. Which is true. And did she have any houses of a certain type that she could show me?
Quick as a flash she was telling me, politely but firmly, that she couldn’t be a tourist agent showing people around. Poop! Caught out. It would have been a great way to see the region.
However, she didn’t realise that I was also cleverly using my interview with her to hone my language skills. I was able to look convincing enough that I was comprehending everything she was saying that the speed and complexity of her delivery never faltered. In fact, they noticeably increased as she explained and described, consulted maps and brochures, kidded and confided while I held her gaze and nodded. I’m definitely improving. And I’m beginning to see that the key to this language is to never actually open my mouth.
We left it that she’ll email me, or... I’ll call her, ...or ...her people and my people...something about a colleague...she seemed so genuinely happy that we’d reached an agreement that I couldn’t bear to spoil it by telling her I had no idea what we’d just agreed to. I do know that she didn’t ask for my phone number so I’m guessing she isn’t lining up inspections for tomorrow. I think she isn’t...although, there may be something lined up for April...

......


The truth is, of course, that I need to see houses to get a feel for what a certain budget will buy in a certain area to help me decide which area/s to focus on, and also how sizes and descriptions of houses on the internet translate into reality, whereas agents need people to have already decided on the area to make arranging inspections worthwhile.

.........


Village houses tend to open straight off the street, but can have engaging things happening out the back. Heating is important as oil is expensive but the demand for firewood is increasing. Many houses boast a cave which is a vaulted wine cellar. The equivalent of a “handyman’s dream” may be three tumbling stone walls with a giant bird’s nest of timbers for a roof or possibly just the memory of one. Placards are built-in cupboards and not residue from political activities, and exposed beams may mean structural elements criss-crossing at chest height as you lie in bed. Houses four hundred years old look appealing from the outside, but may be very dark inside as the thickness of the walls is in direct proportion to the number of years since construction. As anywhere, beware of “cute” (really small), “character” (really impractical), and “water feature” (really leaky).

I decided not to bother with the second and third Real Estate Agents.


poi mon lagoon............

I went for a walk. Another beautiful garden to be strolled through (a pine tree with unexpected berries...unexpected by me, that is...) then I spent ages trying to figure out how to cross what must be a mighty river spanned by a huge multiple-lane scary major motorway bridge. Eventually I discovered (after consulting the map) there’s a quiet footbridge a little way back which daintily steps across what turns out to be lovely tame and slender waters.

Tomorrow, I may take a bus. For fun.


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