Nothing Toulouse

Meet David. He’s a Brit living in Toulouse. He doesn’t have much to do so has decided to write for these very pages about his exploits and waiting around for something to happen.
We at Five Am Traveller need to help him. As well as laugh at his life, we need to let him know what’s around Toulouse, what he can do to get involved in the local community and use this site as a vessel for strengthening Anglo-French relations.


To get you in the mood, here are his first couple of episodes:

Part 1

My name is David, or Alex, depending on whether you’re talking to my friends or family. Nothing to do with identity theft, more to do with Welsh family tradition. Gemma is my girlfriend, and she’s the reason we’re here. She’s studying French and Spanish in university, and for three glorious months in the winter of 2009 we get to live in Toulouse. I decided to go with her after spending two years in a call centre job. I had nothing to lose.

N.B. I don’t speak French.

Observations 1

Dog poo is still very much en vogue in France. I’ve yet to encounter white dog poo, but it’s only a matter of time.

Shopping centres in France smell like wee drying on cheese, without exception.


Part 2

In the first few days in a new place, particularly a city, it’s impossible to be anything but a tourist. Tourists follow specific behaviours which make them incredibly susceptible and gullible:

Look up, even when it's raining
Look up, even when it’s raining

1.    A propensity to stare upwards at objects such as shop signs, bricks and common birds as if one was watching the moon landings;
2.    A complete lack of concern for flaunting tremendous amounts of petty cash in public;
3.    An implicit trust, driven by equal parts fear, uncertainty and doubt, in any native who offers assistance, even if in one’s homeland one would cross the road rather than accost the aformentioned helpful native;
4.    A total inability to order off a menu without pointing;
5.    Complete, grinding shutdown of all adaptive faculties. As a tourist, one is always on holiday. On holiday, the brain and a substantial number of voluntary motor functions become unavailable, rendering it impossible for one to learn even the rudiments of the native tongue or present oneself as a respectable, capable human being.


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