Letters from Abroad

Love and Hate

Exciting news! I just booked a trip to Amsterdam! You should be excited for me, dear reader. Amsterdam in December is going to be crazy cold, but also crazy awesome. That piece of excitement aside, this week I’m going to talk about all the things I love about Toulouse. And all the things that… aren’t so great.

Things I Love:

CREPES!! At my favorite creperie, you can get two crepes (one savory and one sweet—nutella, anyone?) and a fourth of a bottle of wine, or a café/hot chocolate for 8 euros. The. Best.

The metro/bus system: for ten euros I can get an unlimited metro/bus pass. If I had a car here, I would be saving millions of dollars on gas and car insurance. Suck it, Geico.

Baguettes! Today I bought a baguette and some Camembert (cheese) and ate them together for lunch and it was pretty much perfection.

Attractive French boys who dress attractively. Good for you, French boys. Work it out.

Centre Ville, aka downtown. A delightful mix of old and new, the downtown area is just wonderful to walk around. Everything a French city should be.

The wine: this list would be remiss if I didn’t casually mention that you can buy a bottle of decent wine here for 3 euros. One day, when I am not broke, I’m going to buy a nice 15-euro bottle of wine and live like a queen.

Things I Hate:
The Metro/bus system: it’s wonderful and the best yes, but during peak hours, it is also the worst. Getting into a cramped car is bad enough, but add in the b.o. factor and it gets 100 times worse.

Yup, that’s pretty much it. Except maybe that I have class at 8:15 a.m.? And maybe my storage unit classroom? That’s about it.
And finally,

Things I Hate to Love
McDonald’s. I know. Try not to shun me. In my defense, the McDonald’s (fondly called MacDo over here) is about one thousand times nicer than in the US. I’m not joking—modern décor, mosaic tiles, seating that isn’t ripped and torn; it’s kind of glorious. Also, did I mention the free Wi-Fi? That’s a big selling point.

High-heeled sneakers. Not something I see in the US often, but pretty prevalent here. Whenever I see them, I’m torn between cringing and running and buying a pair.

Vespas. Imagine this: you’re walking down a small road downtown. It’s narrow, cobblestoned and filled with people. Suddenly, a vespa drives by and you’re forced to dive out of the way, unless you want to get hit. Vespas do this all the time! Incredibly annoying…and yet, I still can’t get over my need to ride one/ride with someone on one. I just can’t.

In conclusion, Toulouse is great and everyone should move here.