From Writhe’s journal:

People are more than willing to give strangers money in Paris. There are also people who go into stores and restaurants and clubs to sell flowers. This would not be tolerated in the US. There was this one guy in a fast food joint that was singing very loud, I think it was opera. I’m not sure if he was asking for money because I saw him later outside walking down the street and still singing. There are a lot of Africans in Paris, like actually from Africa. Now that I look around, there are people from all over the world, all proudly wearing their own types of clothing and speaking their own languages. It’s kinda neat. So much diversity.

Small, castle-looking houses dot the rolling green landscape of the French countryside. I am traveling to Toulouse and currently in Limoges. I was in the train station in Limoges and asked a woman behind the counter in broken French where I could find the Youth Hostel and Oradour-sur-Glane, which is a village that was destroyed by Nazis in WWII and something that I wanted to see since I am interested in that time period. The woman knew little English (or pretended not to know much) and talked to a small group of cab drivers, one of whom took me to the bus station. The next bus wasn’t for several hours so I asked the driver if there was a Youth Hostel, which he didn’t understand. “Auberge de Jeunesse” I said, and he said it was 5 minutes away, but it took more like 10-15. He dropped me off at some sort of hotel and I paid him for the ride. It wasn’t a Youth Hostel at all and the rooms were all booked. I felt completely defeated and had nowhere to go for help or information. So I walked back to town, which was at least a couple of miles. I actually had no idea which way to go so I just headed for the tall buildings in the distance. I found a map at a bus stop. I tried to go straight toward the train station, but being as stupid as I am I took a wrong turn on a bad judgement. I got lost. So I decided to stick to the main road. I found a gas station that sold bread so I bought some because I was that hungry. The girl behind the counter was very nice and understanding about my lack of French vocabulary. I finally made it to the train station, sweaty and exhausted. The woman that gave me the “wrong” info from before gave me the “right” info and said she was looking for me when she found out that she made a mistake. I tried calling the actual Youth Hostel, but no one there spoke English. I tried calling the tourist info place in Toulouse, but they didn’t speak English either. So much for being helpful to tourists. So I ended up calling M, the girl in Avignon, to see if she had any friends in Toulouse that might have a floor I could sleep on. She has one, but they are in Paris at the moment. Damn, I think France is telling me to get the fuck out of it. I’m going to hop on a train to Toulouse and see what comes of it. Wish me luck.