With my things moved in and my family gone, I really feel that it was from that moment on that I started my third year abroad. In a city however where you don’t know anything or anyone, I was left with an uneasy feeling of what on earth to do now. Thankfully though, where there is WiFi there is fun, and so for better or for worse, my first afternoon abandoned in was spent in my room on the internet until getting to know my colocs a bit better that evening. Since then I’ve done some groovy ass bits and pieces.
Sunday 27th August
Headed out with a fellow intern to grab some food and ended up in a Lebanese restaurant called Chez Nous Les Libanais. The plates were HUGE and it was fairly reasonably priced, so my first solo meal out was a definite winner. Once we’d finished we went for a walk and ended up at some sort of salsa festival on the Garonne; it is so cute to see a bunch of strangers having a good old dance with one another (I don’t feel like this would happen in England..) and the even nicer given the glorious weather we were having that day. I hadn’t properly explored Toulouse yet, so we stayed out and walked and walked and walked and took in the lovely atmosphere on the Garonne in the evening. A simple but good day was had by all.
Sunday 3rd August
My flatmates had organised a Brunch morning with all of their friends, for which the entry fee was that each person had to bring something to eat. The spread looked amazing with croissants and bread and smoothies and pancakes, until I decided that I was going to bring a little piece of England to Toulouse and make bacon sandwiches. I won’t go deeper into this experience as I’m genuinely quite ashamed of what I managed to produce, but I can safely say they do NOT have bacon in France and recommend everyone else not to even try looking for it.
Monday 4th August
So a few of my friends had told me about a place called Café Pop, and were insisting that we had to go on a Monday. Being a débutante little worker bee I wasn’t massively keen on the idea, until I heard that Monday night is Treize bieres, treize euros. Never in my life has I encountered such an amazing feat of marketing, and without too much discussion I found myself sat on a wooden bench on a Monday night with a wooden crate-like box filled with 13 plastic cups of beer (NB. I don’t even like beer). Regardless to say I was très tired the next day at work, but I do think it was worth it as the atmosphere was pretty good and it wasn’t far from my apartment either. Winner winner chicken dinner.
Friday 8th August
Our lovely Airbus pal let us all go round to her apartment block to have a post work pool party, which was beyond good after being at work all week watching the sunshine from in front of a computer. Wine and nibbles later however, the weather forecast that we had all decided to ignore availed, and we were hit with a torrential storm and had to go inside. Sat on the balcony in our bikinis did happen to to beat my usual duvet-and-film storm experience. What I’ve concluded is that weather is just generally better here; when it’s hot and sunny it may as well be Greece, and when it’s bad it’s excitingly bad. There’s no in between and I really like that.
Saturday 9th August
It was my fellow interns birthday, so we went out for some munch at a great restaurant near the Garonne called Au Peilharot. On the way there we stopped in a bookshop so that my friend could buy a map, and there I found a London sightseeing book; I kid you not, I have never been so happy to see the tube map or a drawing of a ’99’, and I realised with this little slice of home that I might actually be missing it.
Au Peilharot wasn’t cheap necessarily, but the quality of the food was so good, and I started with some sort of raw salmon terrine and crusty bread followed by a bacon cheeseburger. Definitely birthday quality and the evening atmosphere of it was really nice. Had an ice cream on the walk back and stopped to admire how pretty Place du Capitole is before heading out for the best mohitos I’ve ever had at Puerto Habana. 10/10 would recommend, plus the music was all great latin/reggaeton songs AND it was pretty busy so you didn’t feel like an idiot trying to salsa when you’re really more of a nachos girl…
Other than that, I’ve been to the cinema to see Grease (French subtitles woohoo!), had a wine and cheese evening with other Airbus interns, went out on the town with other Airbus interns.., and visited the market down the end of my road for fruit and veg. It’s been a relaxed kind of busy.
Currently commencing week 3 of being toute seule in Toulouse, and so far it’s everything that I hoped it would be. I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression however, and particularly this week I’ve been beyond tired thanks to settling into the 9 to 5 and, if I’m honest, a bit irritable with my poor family on the phone. It is a bizarre feeling to sit down after getting in from work and it’s practically dinner time, as opposed to rolling in from lectures at 4 and snacking until 10. However I am REALLY enjoying having evenings and weekends to do what I want, this Sunday for instance I genuinely did no more than put some clothes in the washing machine. No revision, no coursework, no reading, how people can groan about working life it’s beyond me*.
That’s my update for now!
*(please come back to me in 12 months time on this one)