Here I am pretending to be a travel blogger with helpful Florence posts, oh who am I kidding I’m more of a walking disaster than a travel blogger. So forget guides and ‘top things to blah’ let me tell you about the standing on my bed at 4am pigeon thing.
In Florence we stayed in this really lovely apartment just round the corner from Santa Croce. I was beyond happy with it because I got to sleep in an actual gosh darn bed (normally when I travel with my family I’m on a couch or the floor). NB: Paris is the worst country for floor sleeping, those apartments were not build using a level. So my own room? My own room with AIR-CONDITIONING? I was living like a king.
Then came 4am on my first night.
I heard rats, big rats. That weird muffled scuffling and scraping noises that can only belong to those giant Royalist creeps from the Nutcracker. I went from deep REM sleep to standing on my bed ready to run in a split second. I didn’t want to wake my parents (I’m still trying to convince them I have my shit together, screaming to wake them up at 4am would not have indicated this), so my mouth was contorted in a silent scream that I’m sure Edvard Munch would have loved to behold.
Then the curtain moved and I almost silent cried.
Then I realised it was the air-conditioning that moved the curtain and I almost cried again.
It was a rather emotional 4am for me.
Being the big brave girl that I am I went round the entire room on a rat hunt (from the safety of standing on my bed while throwing shoes at shadows) and couldn’t find a single squeaky bastard. Figuring that they must be in the walls, which while not pleasant is not immediately life threatening, I attempted to calm my beating heart and drift back to sleep.
Then a couple of days later I was having a ‘to hot and a bit hungover’ afternoon nap when I heard the rats again. Given that it was daylight outside I felt totally justified in calling for my dad in a calm, grownup and measured way…”OMG DAD I THINK THERE ARE FUCKING RATS IN MY ROOM OH GOD HELP ME I MIGHT DIE”.
Dad walked in with a ‘fucking hell you are a nutter’ look on his face, but I’m sure that was because he had been watching TV and had nothing to do with me standing on a bed looking like Munch’s long lost sweetheart. I instructed him to pull back the curtains, because that’s where I had narrowed down the noise to, and as he did a flock of pigeons took flight.
That’s right, it was fucking pigeons.
There was a grated ledge on the other side of the window which was apparently a hot AirBnB of the pigeon world. Nesting birds scratching against the wood were the source of all my madness. I guess they are rats of the sky so my terror was somewhat justified.