Welcome back, folks, to another edition of Terrible Apartment Photos. For those who are short on memory, our first installment back in October featured terrible apartment photos in Taiwan. Last time we saw them, our heroes Steve and Connie had left East Asia, and have been making their way through Southeast Asia and the subcontinent with varying degrees of success. Tired of trekking from place to place, they started seriously thinking about plunking down money to make a more long-term stay happen, independent of Workaway and WWOOFing situations. Where can they find a nice little slice of the world to call their own for a few months? The answer is France.
[cue montage of mounds of baguettes, panning over le Tour Eiffel, flowers and produce markets in cobblestone streets, and idyllic afternoons at roadside cafés, awash in accordion music]
We’ve been combing over AirBnB for hours, contemplating small condos in large cities like Lyon and Marseille as well as more spacious houses or cottages in the occasional obscure countryside village. One was so tiny it had no train station, which really left us scratching our head as to how we were going to get there. Many of the pictures were beautiful, and seemed to correlate directly with how expensive the apartment was, so take that for what you will. As beautiful and stereotyped as this country is, it is not immune from overzealous or simply dim-witted photographers who could not show their apartment in a positive light if their life depended on it. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of turning on the lights, or backing up a few inches so I can figure out whether this is a bathroom or bedroom, waiting until daylight for the best views, or using your common sense. Whatever it is, these people didn’t have it. You know you missed the snark. Here’s another helping.
The High Maintenance Owner Photo
I generally take it for granted that bathrooms contain something like a sink, so maybe you could tell me whether this bathroom has a shower or a bathtub? The only thing I can really glean from this picture is that its owner cares more about their hair than I do.
The No-Electricity Photo
Maybe the French are used to cooking in the semi-darkness, but I think that half-lit ambiance for your kitchen is so 1600s.
The Tanning Salon Filter Photo
While you’re in Lyon, you can stay in my apartment, which is itself situated inside a giant orange. Also, I’ve thoughtfully left my katana in the corner, just in case your overactive 10 year-old son decides that his little sister needs to be taught a lesson about stealing his dinosaur toys.
The Really Bad Bed Photo
This is a bed. With a footboard. That is the only thing you need to know. Not where it is in the room or how many people it can sleep or how high off the ground it is. Or even what it looks like in focus. If you like the puke green coverlet my mother made, I’ll sell it to you for 20 euro.
The Monster Lamp Photo
My apartment has a very nice and decent looking double bed. And to set the mood for a romantic evening, I’ve added a demonic jellyfish lamp. Enjoy your honeymoon.
The Sideways Door Photo
I know, I know. Even in 2013, a lot of apartment owners just aren’t as savvy with computers and the Internets and don’t know how to turn their sideway photos around. That’s understandable.
But. Do their pictures also feature a door which may or may not be useless for getting into the apartment in question? Since it has no visible doorknob or latch? Is this like the reverse of the Hotel California where you can leave but never come back in?
The Posed Photo
Finally, here’s my favorite of the batch. For starters, it seems to be almost painfully staged — the body language of the two people pictured just says to me, “We don’t have anything to say to each other.” But the unbelievable part is that the owner was trying to point out the attraction of having your dinner or aperitifs right on the sidewalk outside your house. I can’t decide what’s better — having no privacy in which to enjoy your daily meal or fielding requests for reservations from passers-by who think they’ve found the smallest restaurant in the world? And this table! I can only see one leg! Are the diners actually holding it up themselves, and how does it get put away when you’re done with your meal? What is going on here?!
If we find any more examples of la décor française, we’ll pass it on, but I hope the next time I post, I can share with you some *good* photos of the place where we’re going to stay.