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Valar Qringaomis

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

France 2012 - Day 13 - Toulouse (Part 1)

France 2012
Day 13 - 25th October - Toulouse
(Part 1)

Once again, I woke up really early to take the train - this time to Toulouse.

At 6+am there was a leaf blower at work. Wah.

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Carcassonne before dawn

The exterior lights were off before dawn so the city was dark from a distance. Must've been austerity!

I realised that I hadn't seen any black people or women in hijabs while in the Cité (the fortified old town) - only in la ville baisse (the lower city). This said something about integration.

The Relay (newsagent) at Carcassonne's railway station had an international press rack. I was impressed.

There was a white guy with 2 East Asian girls, and on his luggage was a "free sex club" sticker. Okay.

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Safari in France. You know it's important because they open every day - even on New Year's. I scribbled that it was interesting that it was also open on 1st September (I think it was written somewhere), but I can't find out why this day is special... except that it was the day Germany invaded Poland in 1939.

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I like the design of the onyx's head

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Toulouse - where Spanish appears on signs

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Announcement of train strike grr

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"Committing fraud (or how to turn a movie night into a tv night)"
Ad about train fraud and its severe consequences
What's wrong with a TV night?
I love the verb "frauder"

The Toulouse métro announced stations in what I thought was Spanish but have since found out was Occitan. There were free transfers within 1 hour - but I got on the bus one minute too late. Gah.

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Team spirit in the subway

The buses in Toulouse displayed and announced the next bus stop. We tried that with TIBS buses in Singapore, but we stopped. Perhaps because the bus stops were too close? Or the bus stop names were too generic and similar (e.g. Block 10, Block 12)?

My hostel was just beside the University of Toulouse, so naturally there were interesting sights:

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"Faced with the Far Right. Immediate retaliation!"
"Anti-Fascist Union of Toulouse"
These seem to be calling for the beating up of "fascists"

Ed: A black man is not the best choice as poster boy for an anti-racism, anti-extreme right campaign. It aggravates the other side more, and pigeonholes anti-racism as an ethnic issue - and reinforces stereotypes of the Angry Black Man (especially with the violent language).

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Hostel - which was a converted house

There was an Albi-Cordes tour. Unfortunately it was on the day that I flew from Toulouse back to Paris.

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University of Toulouse

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"Elections. Do they still amuse you?
Abstention! Revolution! Autogestion! Anarchist federation" (autogestion means self-management - without a counter-revolutionary ruling class)
It was indeed interesting being near a university

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"Social justice? General strike! Anarchist federation"

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"Vegetarian! Information stand about vegetarianism and veganism... Every year, more than a billion animals are killed in French abattoirs"
"Neither God nor Master nor State nor boss. Anarchist federation"

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Kebab stand. At first I wanted to takeaway then I decided it'd be easier to sit and eat, since it'd take 5 minutes anyway. Too late I saw the "cocotte" option. Ah well.

Interestingly, right next door to the kebab stand was a liquor store. The guy beside me disappeared and went to buy beer.

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Lunch

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Dome de la Grave
There's a Spanish writeup! But none in English
The hospital was for plague victims, then poor people
The hostel guy claimed that it was a UNESCO site. BAH.

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La Garonne river

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I don't know why I took this

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River

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Rue Larrey
The road signs are also in Occitan

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Rue Pargaminieres

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I can't match this Rue Joseph Lakanal sign to a road

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"Do you have a slab of concrete [?]? Best of Halal Fast Food"
"As many fries as you want"

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Unfortunately the Hotel de Ville was blocked by some fair

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Road through Hotel de Ville complex

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On square in front of Hotel de Ville - Place du Capitole. It got renamed from Place Royale to Place de la Liberté and then to its present name.

From the tourist office I got a brochure from Ophorus Tours. There was an Albi-Cordes tour - but it was today and not the next day. I was offered a substitute tour - Bruniquel/Puycelsi, both on Les Plus Villages de France. I decided to pass since I'd been to Carcassonne and Pérouges and I'd seen pictures of Cordes (which was after all more famous) - it was similar except much higher up than Cordes, so when the clouds came in it was really sur ciel (as its full name Cordes-sur-ciel - Cordes above the Clouds - suggests). If only I'd had one more day!

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Albi tour. I didn't take it because Albi was very accessible and I wanted to wander
If you didn't notice, here is a line from the brochure: "Your guide will make you explore the old town's winding medieval streets and private mansions"

The Hotel de Ville had some stuff to see.

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Le Tournoi

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J Jaures bust

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Bad grammar: "For centuries of fighting for the obtaining of their rights, for their role in the Resistance, French women finally got the right to vote on 21 April 1944"

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Jeux Floraux

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Les Bords de la Garonne

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Side of a Hall

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Hall

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The Entry of Urban II to Toulouse

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"Law Justice Truth"
This can answer the eternal question, "What is Truth?"

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"Love, Happy Source of Life" (at 40 years)

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"Love, Happy Source of Life" (Cythera)

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Untitled (presumably) by Pierre Laurens. Also: male nudity!

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Back of Hotel de Ville

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Rue d'Alsace Lorraine

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Why is there a John Fitzgerald Kennedy street?

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Mural
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