It did seem a bit convenient. I left our Chinese friends' apartment to get the bus home and found I had just enough time to take a little look at the Halle des Chartrons with all the tables set out round it and happy people munching their magrets and tartares and to get back to the stop before the bus 4 came to take me all the way home. I took a nice photo, then got to the stop and hey presto, bus 4, right on time, to take me home swiftly and conveniently.
The first bad sign was when the bus driver at Palais de Justice contacted the control centre to ask whether she had missed a detour. After some discussion it was decided that she'd have to go via Victoire and the boulevards - several miles off route - to get back onto the Rue de Pessac.
So we were haring through Nansouty, where the bus 4 never goes, and then she turned right into a little road that led to the boulevards, when.
Ah Non! Ah Non!
A lorry had caught fire just 50 metres ahead and the police had closed the road. By now the control centre was getting shirty.
"Ne bouge plus, ne bouge plus." (Don't move any more, don't move any more)
De toute façon je ne peux plus bouger. (I'm going nowhere, anyway)
About 12 of us needed to get to Pessac, so she advised us to walk to the boulevards - not far - then take the 9 to Barrière de Pessac, then the next 4.
One of the passengers, a tall, blond, non-French type, was a bit bothered that with his little French he didn't really understand what was happening. He said he spoke English, so I explained to him and we set off together.
He was tall, but his legs didn't move very fast. Still, we got to the next stop where we learned that we had a 20 minutes wait for the next 9.
"Let's walk", said my Czech companion. So we walked.
"I really need to pee." He stopped between two cars and behind a tree.
"I'll walk on. Catch me up." I wasn't keen to stop and watch, so I trotted on.
At Barriere de Pessac, still far from the bus stop I saw a bus 4.
I hailed it. Hurrah ! It stopped!
I explained that I had been on the bus 4 stuck in Nansouty.
"Ah ouais, celui-là!"
I still feel a bit sad about leaving the bus driver alone stuck behind the burning lorry.
And I feel bad about leaving my Bohemian friend weeing behind the cars.
But getting on that bus 4 felt GOOD.