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Thursday 27 March 2014


My first impression of Toulon was that it was insanely beautiful. The harbour, the buildings, the ramshackle French streets.

I got so psyched about speaking French! It was a Sunday, so the shops open were very limited. All the same, I did some shopping. I bought a cooked sausage from a street vendor, speaking only French. I felt very elated at this.

I also got a text from someone I really didn't expect. In fact it made my day so completely, the whole world feels a little bit lighter. I can't go into more detail than that, but it was the most significant part of this port.

I then walked further out, and the beautiful port became big concrete tower blocks and lots of roads. I did however find a few very beautiful bits. I met two lads busking in the street, who appeared to be completely incapable of playing at all. They were playing smoke on the water very quietly, and actually asked me for money. I gave them some, and asked if I could play their guitar. The lad said 'yes, but be careful. I took it, and found it was ridiculously out of tune. It was the kind of cheap Argos guitar that a beginner has. These kids were clearly seriously broke to be out playing and making next to nothing. They didn't even have a hat for their money. I tuned it roughly, and played a little bit. The guitar played badly, but it did sing. I told them they had a beautiful guitar, and thanked them. They looked at me like I had some kind of superpower. It was a really nice meeting, and I got more chance to practice my french.

The further I walked up the hill, the more grey and concrete it got, although there was one more treat in store for me. I saw my first ever properly painted train. It was the same kind they have on the New York overground, that Fab Five Freddie and all those people would have painted. At first I thought it was actually pulled into the Garre Du Norde but it was actually just in a siding. Insane in the membrane, paint the train, paint the train!

Later that day I was properly suffering. The storm was ridiculous, and had glasses sliding off tables and smashing. The piano was rocking so hard I was hitting bum notes. Everyone felt queezy, including me. Well, just dizzy really. I had to lie down. It was a crappy time, and I went straight to bed.

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