All the World’s a Stage

Today we went into Toulouse city centre to sign up for all our telecommunications needs at Orange, the national communications company. Why Toulouse? Because that is where our relocation guide got us hooked up with a fairly fluent English speaker and prepared our contract to fit our needs for cable, internet, a landline phone for the house (required in France), and mobile phones for me and Theo. (Stoney has a corporate mobile). While there, we did some sightseeing. I love people-watching on the streets of Toulouse.

There were musicians, of course:

An organ grinder. He had lovely tunes. Doesn’t he seem focused?

This gentleman played a beautiful accordian, even if the photo is awful. He was one of two that really made the streets sound French.

There was also a young man in the plaza selling fresh squeezed orange juice from a cart. I know he wasn’t technically entertainment, but we found him highly entertaining. He got a lot of business from a wedding group that had recently left the city hall, or mairie, and was animated and helpful with them. We bought a glass from him, and when he asked where we were from, he responded to Stoney’s answer of “America” with “I’m from America, too! Where? It’s very big.” We told him, and he shared with us that he is from Chile. I laughed at the truth of that! He is my American brother from SOUTH America, Chile! He did spend a couple of years in Boston, though.

The beautiful and entertaining wedding party.

Also in the plaza was what I guess you would call a puppet act. Two people covered in fabric held little wooden animal faces out of the fabric. The one on the right is certainly a camel, but I am not sure the left one is, too. They danced the animals and clapped their wooden snout-mouths to the blaring tune of “Funky Town.”

If it’s on the street, it must qualify as street entertainment, right?

My preferred puppeteer, a man with a mermaid. Definitely better show.

This entertainer is a balloon artist. He worked the area next to the carousel, which is smart marketing if you ask me.

Blurry balloon man

Theo found the plaza market just as entertaining, though. It may have been his favorite. The smells were heavenly! Ripe cantaloup and strawberries compelled you to breathe deeply. And they had tables of used books, unfortunately all in French. I might return later to look for some very rudimentary children’s books to help with my language skills.

Trust me: he is much more excited about the market than he looks.

I always look for the crepe man and his cart when I go to Toulouse city center. I didn’t find him, but we still found lots to appreciate! If I ever do find the crepe man, you can be sure I will never again pass him up “until later.”

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