|Welcome to February! I don't really know what is so exciting about this month, but I get a kick out of knowing I did not arrive in this month. It's like another stepping stone. I don't have an exciting story to talk about, so I thought I would dwell on some of the beautiful excentricities of Toulouse.
One: Store hours are completely arbitrary. Ok no, there is a system, but you can kind of think of them as arbitrary and it usually works out for you. It's hard to predict what day a certain store will close. It's hard to predict when a certain store will open. Just because you go by a store at one point in the day and it is closed does not mean it is not open/was not open that day. Shoe stores stay open all day and liquor stores (known as "epiceries du nuit" night spice shops) don't open until 4pm. Many stores take two hours for lunch. It's all a little helter-skelter, although I am sure it makes sense in French people's heads.
Two: Dog poop. Toulouse is a very clean city. There is very little trash, there are many trash cans in public areas, you really don't see much litter. What you do see, in all places, is dog poop. Usually smeared because, you know, people step in it. To borrow a line from a fellow student "if I were to shut my eyes and walk a hundred steps in any direction, the chance is very good I would step in dog poop". I like to think this is more a case of how little grass there is in Toulouse, and less of how lazy the owners are. The French are considering making a new tax on dog owners to try and make them more responsible. Reasoning that if dog owners assume someone from the city will pick it up, the city will charge them for the service. It certainly makes walking in Toulouse more exciting.
Three: Jaywalking. I won't say much about this here because I plan to devote another entry (on another slow day :) ) to how the French walk, but the Toulousians Love to jaywalk. Not just cross the street wherever they want, although they do that too. But to walk in front of cars even if their little walking man is a quite definitive red. To be fair, red lights do seem to last a lot longer than walk signals do, so you are pretty safe following the locals and crossing whenever you think you can. Cars have a healthy respect for pedestrians.
Well, that's what I've been thinking about for the past two days, so I hope you all are well! Take care of yourselves, I miss you all!!