I’m not sure what to make of Marseille

I’ve been in Marseille for two days now, and I’m still not sure what to think of it.  I’ve been endlessly walking about, and the biggest attractions that I’ve found are the sun, sea and fish.  It’s not as bad as it sounds as the warm weather puts you in a good mood, but I wish I could find more things to do that didn’t involve wandering about outside.

marseille fish

Fish being sold at the Vieux Port

Before I even made it to my hotel on Sunday night, I could see that the city had a very different vibe.  Lots of Middle Eastern and North African fast food outlets and people all over the streets.  It wasn’t until later that I learned that my route from the station took me straight through the area called Noaille where the shops are grouped.

I went to the Tourist Information centre yesterday morning, and they gave me a map, a city guide and a shopping/eating booklet.  They’re not bad, but also not really helpful, and I don’t have much else to go on.  A friend of a friend lives in Marseille, and she’s been giving me lots of information to work with too luckily.

When I looked out of my window yesterday morning I decided to take my sunglasses with me, and it was a good decision.  The first sight I went to visit was the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica which is 150m above sea level, which made it a good look out point in the past as it has a great view over the sea and pretty much everyone in the city can see it.  Unlike Lyon there wasn’t a funicular railway to take me there, so I walked.  By the time I got to the top it was sunny and hot, and I ended up in my t-shirt and sunglasses with my jacket slung over my bag.  Second church of the holiday, and it was OK but very different to the Fourvière Basilica in Lyon.  The interior is very busy with lots of memorial plaques and model ships which make it look quite messy, and it’s also pretty small.  I suppose it only serves a small part of the city that live close to it and can get to the top of the hill.

marseille basilica

Interior of the basilica where the walls are covered with messages

A colleague once told me that he wished that he had a gigapixel camera, but unfortunately neither he or I do.  There were some great views over the city and I hope they won’t go too fuzzy in my memory.

The city feels really laid back.  I’m not sure if that’s what happens to life when you live near the Mediterranean or if it’s the large number of people who seem to live and work on the streets.  There are lots of men, young and old, who are sitting around in squares smoking and drinking, so guess there’s more unemployment here than the other cities that I’ve visited but I haven’t really looked into it.

In the afternoon I went for a walk around the Panier, which is the Old Quarter of the city.  It’s filled with narrow streets and old buildings, and also lots of churches.  I walked past one at the end of a funeral ceremony, and saw that the priest was quite young and was wearing thick black glasses (as is the inexplicable fashion at the moment) and a goatee, and I found it hard to take him seriously.  Would you like a guy with glasses like that overseeing your funeral?

My overriding memory of the Panier was avoiding all the crap on the streets, I feel like I spent more time looking at my feet than at the stuff around me, and someone else agrees.

marseille merde

"Pavement of shits"

Today I went to visit two areas that were recommended to me by my friend of a friend, Noaille which I already mentioned and La Plaine which is the artistic or creative area of the city.  The first view of Noaille that I had this morning was of the market that takes place on the Longue des Capucins which looks just like a normal market taking place in a city square, except that a majority of the shoppers are North African or Middle Eastern.  When you start walking into the side streets you begin to notice that all of the shops are selling Moroccan or Lebanese or Algerian food, and they cover quite a big area.  I’ve been to Edgware Road in London lots of times, but there it seems that Middle Eastern shops mix with general shops, but that’s not really the case in Marseille.  I didn’t take many photos when I was there as I’d read that it wasn’t such a safe area and that there were dodgy people around, and when you’re told something like that you begin to see people acting strangely such as the guy who had 2 packs of cigarettes hidden on top of a tourist information sign, which was bizarre.

Afterwards I went to the neighbouring La Plaine area where I started off by walking along Cours Julien which is a wide pedestrianised street.  I realised it was the first place in Marseille that I really liked.  It was quiet and clean, had cafés opening out onto the central area and a nice looking water feature.  All the other people around me were also enjoying it, and maybe they were exiles from the dirty, noisy parts of the city too.  The streets coming off it were different but still interesting as they had the feel of an artistic area, with lots of graffiti and ‘modifications’ to the standard street furniture and some alternative shops.  Lots of restaurants too, but most of them were closed even in the early afternoon which was weird.  If I get a chance I’ll head back there in the evening to see if it’s a bit more alive.

marseille cours julien

Lunchtime on Cours Julien

marseille la plaine

Shops in the La Plaine area

After lunch I ventured out of the centre of the city to an area called l’Estaque which is around 30 minutes away by bus.  It was apparently an inspirational place for artists and writers such as Paul Cézanne, George Braques and Émile Zola, and I can imagine that it was a beautiful little town built on top of a rocky seafront.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) at the turn of the 20th century satellite dishes, television antennas, cars and telephone poles were not common landscape features so they don’t appear in the paintings inspired by l’Estaque.  Even if they did exist back then, artistic licence can remove things that shouldn’t be in a composition, but with photography it’s a little more difficult unless your Photoshop skills are up to removing things.  Now you can see that it’s still a beautiful place, blue sky, terracotta roof tiles, boats in the marina, but technological progress has blotted the landscape.

I also read that there are two types of food that are unique to l’Estaque, and maybe I should have taken that as a warning, Chichi Freggi (like a doughnut the size of half a baguette and covered in sugar) and Panisses which are fried chickpea paste disks.  I decided to try the Panisses because the Chichi Freggi looked *huge*, like eating 4 or 5 doughnuts I imagine.  The Panisses were odd and I can understand why they haven’t caught on anywhere else.  They taste like salty chickpeas, imagine falafel with more salt and without all the lovely coriander and other herbs and you’ll be close.  They’re not bad, just not very good.

I escaped l’Estaque a couple of hours after I arrived, and went to buy a little present for my mum.  I started speaking in French to the woman who ran the shop for a few sentences, but when I went to pay it turned out that she was American.  She said that she used to live in Paris but had moved to Marseille many years ago, but there wasn’t much to do here and she missed the cultural life that you get in Paris.  That pretty much echos my view of Marseille so far, although maybe I’ll change my mind tomorrow.  I also mentioned to her about shops and restaurants being closed, and she just replied by saying that Marseille was like that and didn’t explain any further so it’s still a mystery.

Finally I had Aioli for dinner, which is like a French-Mediterranean ploughmans lunch, with cod, mussels, potatoes, green beans, carrots and cauliflowers all cooked separately and put on the plate, and it’s served with lots of garlic sauce which is the part that I would normally call aioli.  I still feel stuffed 3 hours later and it’s time to go to bed…


Museum day in Lyon

So tired today.  Completely overslept and ended up rolling out of bed at 9:30, which isn’t late in the normal world but isn’t ideal when I’m on holiday and it’s my second and last day in a city.  I want to be outside doing things.

After getting ready and having breakfast at the hotel, I eventually left at 10:30 which wasn’t bad considering.  As I’d done all the leg work yesterday, today was going to be a relaxing museum day as there was one that sounded pretty interesting, and one that didn’t sound bad and would be an OK way to spend some time.

lyon lumiere museum

They're quite proud of them!

I started at the Lumière Museum, which is dedicated to the Lumière brothers who invented the first practical video camera as well as developing new innovations for still picture cameras.  The museum is in what used to be their father’s house which used to be in a suburb of Lyon, but is now part of the city.  He built a huge house which overlooked the factory where his company produced still picture plates which were used in the cameras of the time.

His two sons Auguste and Louis didn’t develop the first video camera, but they did develop the first one which could take a fixed number of frames a second, the Cinematographe #1.  Previous cameras had nothing to govern how long each frame was exposed for so the quality varied greatly, but the Lumière camera has a mechanism to expose each frame for exactly the same length of time, giving consistent pictures.

They recorded their first film in early 1895 and later that year showed it to amazed crowds.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal now as we have high definition 3D colour TVs with sound, but it would have been pretty amazing at the time.  Their camera was also light enough to carry with you, so they sent people around the world to record what life was like in Japan, Vietnam, Peru and Morocco amongst others, and in the days before satellites and 24 hour news they gave an insight into what was happening in the world.

The museum has an example of the Cinematographe #1 as well as the cameras that were developed before it and also some that came after.  There are lots of video exhibits, including the first film they recorded which shows workers leaving the Lumière factory at the end of the day, and as with all of their films was only 50 seconds long.  Other films being shown included 40 film directors recreating the first film by taking the place of the workers and walking out of the factory gates, and a related film where each of those 40 directors made a 50 second long film with a Cinematographe #1.

lyon cinematographe 1

Cinematographe #1 set up as a projector

It was really interesting, but a little difficult to understand.  I took an English audioguide but it only explained so much.  All of the text in the museum was in French, and some of it relating to the chemistry involved in making the film, or the specific items (like sprockets) needed was difficult to understand.  I could try and guess from the context, but it was hard work.

The Lumières also developed the ability to take 360 degree images and colour photography which Louis Lumière thought was actually his biggest success, so all in all they were a pretty innovative family.

I headed back into the centre of the city after I left the museum, and despite the fact that it was almost 1:30 in the afternoon almost nothing was open in the shopping streets, and just some bars and cafés in the side streets.  There were still people walking around, and they must have been going somewhere, but I have no idea where.  Not quite a ghost town, but very different to how it was on Saturday.

After grabbing a sandwich at a bakery that was actually open, I went to the “not bad” museum, which was the Musée des Beaux Arts that’s located on Place des Terreaux right next to the city hall.  It’s a museum of mostly old art that has a little bit of everything.  There’s a little courtyard before you go in with benches and flowers beds and some statues dotted around.  You start walking around and realise there’s a Rodin statue in the courtyard that probably gets rained and snowed on all through the winter.  I suppose it was designed to be outside, but it was still a little surprising.

Inside, I worked my way through the Objets d’Art and Antiquities sections quite slowly, and they had a different period in history in every room, from Art Deco back to the ancient Greeks and Mesopotamia.  The most interesting thing that I saw was a set of furniture from the Hotel Guimard in Paris which was designed by Hector Guimard, who designed some famous buildings in Paris and elsewhere, and also the art nouveau Métro entrances.

lyon guimard desk

A desk from one of the Hotel Guimard's rooms

On the top floors they had a big range of paintings starting from the 1300s up to the 20th century, almost all classical art, but some of the more modern ones were interesting.  Before leaving the museum I stopped by the café to have some spiced green tea with grapefruit, called Fakir tea.  It tasted nice, not too much grapefruit, and came in a cool little teapot which made me unusually happy (for a teapot).  I think it’s because it gave me a photo opportunity in a city where I hadn’t seen a lot of cool stuff that I wanted to photograph.

lyon fakir tea

Fakir tea, complete with cool teapot

When I left the museum I still had an hour before I had to be back at the hotel to collect my suitcase, so as usual when I have time to kill, I started wandering and 2 minutes later I found a big group of guys practicing their break dancing (or whatever the kids call it these days) outside the city Opera.

lyon dancer

Dancing dude

For two days Lyon was OK, but I think I missed something while I was there.  There were things to do to pass the time but no huge attractions like other cities.  I’d read that this was the case before I arrived though so I wasn’t too surprised, but I didn’t really get a feeling for the atmosphere of the city.

One thing that bugged me there, and also bugs me in Paris, is that no one cleans up after their dogs.  I assumed in Paris it was just because they didn’t care, and that most of the people don’t consider themselves to be Parisians so maybe they don’t care so much about their adopted city.  I thought things would be different in the smaller cities but it’s not.  I have to confess that I did see one woman cleaning up after her dog in Paris that made me giggle, because she took some toilet paper out of her handbag and wiped it’s bum as well!

Aaaaaanyway, now I’m on a train again heading to my next destination.

First stop: Lyon

I made it to Lyon last night, the first city on my 13 day ‘to visit’ list.   I’d read a little bit about it before I got here but I really wasn’t sure what to expect as on one hand I heard that it had some lovely traditional areas with cobbled streets and old buildings, and on the other I read that some terrible decisions had been made in the past when they modernised parts of it.

I spent all day on Saturday walking and I only stopped to eat or take the métro to a different area, where I started walking some more.  It was a nice way to get to know the city but I feel like I didn’t achieve much, but I crossed a few places off my checklist of things to see.  My day started well with possibly the best croissant I’ve had while in France.  It was still warm, lovely and soft, and compared to Paris it was very cheap.  I nearly had to ask the person who served me to tell me the price again because I thought I’d misheard.

The first part of the city that I visited was Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) which as the name suggests is old.  It dates back to the renaissance and is full of the narrow cobbled streets and old buildings that I think European cities should have.  It also has quite a few churches and lots of traboules, which is an architectural feature found all over Lyon.  It’s a path, sometimes with a courtyard, which passes through buildings.  You go in a door on a street, and the internal path takes you to another street.  They’re a tourist attraction mostly because it’s an unusual idea I guess, but some of them also feature in the city’s history.

After wandering around looking for an hour looking for doors that opened on to traboules (there’s a map of them so I didn’t randomly knock on doors), I decided to go and see some real sights.  The first place I went was the Jardin des Curiosités, which was interesting but a little underwhelming.  It was a garden gifted to Lyon by the city of Montreal (imagine trying to sneak that present into the the city without the recipient knowing), and I’d read that it was a little bit surrealistic, but in reality it was just a garden that was on a hill and perched at the edge of a steep drop.  The big hill and the drop meant that it you could get a great view of all of Lyon from there though, at least if visibility is good, which it wasn’t when I was there.

lyon jardin des curiosites

On a clear day I should be able to see Mont Blanc... bah!

To get up the hill there’s a little funicular railway which has 2 lines and a grand total of 4 stations, and it doesn’t cover a huge area.  I heard that the Basilica (which I visited later) is 150m above Vieux Lyon, so while it was possible to walk up the hill, I decided not to bother straining my legs more than I was already going to.

Near the Jardin des Curiosités there are two Roman theatres which date back to around 15 AD, which are a UNESCO heritage site because they’re well preserved.  There’s a small semi-circular area that was used for concerts, and a larger area which was used for theatrical productions and could hold up to 11,000 people.  Now you can wander around them, which seems a little wrong, because if they’re trying to protect something surely they should stop hundreds of thousands of pairs of feet a year from walking all over the thing they’re trying to protect – although I guess it’s the same at the Colloseum or any number of other ancient tourist attractions too.  Even though they’re way smaller than modern stadiums, they have a big presence, maybe because they’re big stone structures and not made to look nice like modern sleekly designed arenas.

lyon roman theatres

Having a chat on an ancient monument

Next up was Fourvière Basilica which is right at the top of the big hill that overlooks Vieux Lyon, and it was pretty nice.  First church of the trip, so I’m not bored of them yet.  It’s beautifully mosaiced inside with blue, grey, green and gold tiles covering all of the walls at eye level, with a few large stained glass windows letting in lots of light.  The gold didn’t seem too overdone, and it was all very tasteful assuming that you forget the cost of adorning a big church in this way.  While I was there I was constantly hearing the sound of beep-beep-click from the cameras of the visitors.  I think a ban on pointless camera noises wouldn’t really work, but we need a public education program to get people to turn the sounds off.

lyon fourviere basilica

The Basilica taken that evening

I had lunch in a different part of the city, sitting on a terrace on the square in front of the City Hall.  I guess that would make the place a tourist trap, but there were French people there too and I think a Salad Lyonnais is simple enough that it can’t go too wrong and it tasted good!  After lunch I was traboule hunting again in the Croix-Rousse area of the city, which is where their effect on history comes in.  Croix-Rousse was historically where all the silk workers of Lyon lived and worked, and they’d already rioted twice before France’s 1848 revolution calling for the right to work and for fair pay.  One of the traboules which I visited called the Traboule of the Voracious Court was at the heart of these revolts.

That was the end of my sightseeing for the day as it was almost 5pm, but I kept going and took a stroll on the Rhône which was nice.  Except for a couple of hours in the afternoon when I had lunch and walked through Croix-Rousse, it had looked like spring all day but felt as cold as winter.  Walking along the Rhône made me feel like it was summer though.  There were people cycling along the river bank together, families playing, musicians practising and their friends singing along, and there were a group of people showing off their juggling and cocktail making tricks.

lyon jugging

Showing off

After that I finally made it to the main tourist and shopping area of the city, where my hotel is, Presqu’île.  The parts of it that I saw could have been any European city though.  Maybe I missed something but most of it is just a big shopping area.  I decided to have another look on Sunday though.

Dinner wasn’t too great, as I was trying to find somewhere that served traditional Lyon cuisine, but on a Saturday night without a reservation that plan didn’t go too well.  I did end up having a kind of traditional dinner, but not prepared or served in the way that it normally would be.  I’ll need to plan ahead a little more for the next stops to find out where I’m going to eat.

After dinner, another quick walk around to take some night time shots like the photo of the Basilica above, then off to bed 13 hours after I started where I began writing this post but started nodding off half way through.  That’s why it’s a day late.

French lessons

So last week was my last French lesson, and although it’s only been 9 days it feels like forever already.  I still have another month in Paris so I could have continued, but I’m taking 2 weeks of holiday to travel around France a bit, so it’s not really worth going in March.

6 months ago, I started the classes with a bunch of people I didn’t know, including quite a few that I couldn’t understand.  I guess they might have had the same experience with me too, as it seems like if you’re speaking a second language it’s quite difficult to understand other people who have a strong accent.  Unlike the Dutch lessons that I took over 3 years ago which were for complete beginners, there was pretty much no English spoken in our French classes because it was assumed that we already knew enough to get by, which was mostly true.  It keeps everyone on a level playing field, but it’s quite difficult to explain what a French word means to someone without being able to switch into your native language.  Once we left the class though, any language went.

Our first teacher was called Jean Charles, and he had a big personality.  Everyone has their own personality of course, but his really shone through and dominated the class.  After a while we felt pretty at ease with him, and as we learned things we stopped saying quite as many stupid things that he’d make fun of us for.  Not in a harsh way, just chiding us playfully, and he took particular pleasure in pulling up our English pronunciations of French words, such as “train.”  Our time with him only lasted one month though, and at that time changing teacher wasn’t such a big deal.

Next up was Charlotte who didn’t seem to be much older than some of the students.  She was very charismatic and friendly, and also very helpful.  She also had an abundance of patience as she took us through all of the important verb tenses and explained the difference between the passé composé (I have eaten my dinner) and the imparfait (I ate my dinner) multiple times, and despite which I still have trouble deciding which to use.  I always think that the problem is that I don’t know the names of the tenses or when to use each one in English, at least it just comes naturally and I don’t need to think about it.  I find it really hard to learn grammar because they use terms that I have absolutely no idea about and I have no recollection of being taught in English.

I talk to one of the guys at work in French in the mornings for 15 minutes or so, and sometimes we switch into English.  In either language we always end up asking the other person awkward questions about why you say something in a certain way, or the reason why a certain word is used instead of another.  It really makes you realise how little you know about a language when you’re sitting there just saying “ummmmm…” while trying to dig up an answer.  The French seem to be much more connected to the etymology of a word and can understand why they use it, while in English we just steal any bits of other languages that we like the sound of.

So anyway, myself and 2 or 3 other students started lessons with Charlotte at the end of September and she remained our teacher for 4 months, and over that time we built a pretty good class dynamic.  Lots of other students came and went in that time, some coming along for a few months and other showing up for one class or two before disappearing.  New students were allowed to join a class at any time, and sometimes it was interesting to get new students but if they didn’t stick around then it was a little annoying.  Just as you started to remember their name they’d vanish.  Thankfully most of the students stuck around for at least a month though.

After 4 months with Charlotte we all got to know each other pretty well during our 4 hours a week, and everything was informal and most importantly fun.  During our last lesson she tried to reassure us that our next teacher was very nice and young and friendly too, but after 4 months I felt a little apprehensive.  At the start of January when Charlotte was ill we had a different teacher for a week, and she treated us like primary school kids.  She told us what type of stationary we needed to bring and generally didn’t seem to respect us at all.  That was partly the cause of my trepidation.  That and the general “better the devil you know” feeling that likes to avoid change.

After our last lesson with Charlotte the whole class went out for a beer, and it was an interesting experience.  It’s the first time I’d been out to a bar and spoken (mostly) French, and it was OK until the barman tried to turn the volume of the music up.  I normally have trouble understanding anything in noisy environments, but it was actually OK.  At the end of the night, we said au revoir and went our separate ways.

When we started the following week with our new teacher, Marion.  Everything Charlotte said about her was true, but things were just different but it’s hard to describe.  She was a much more serious teacher, and we’d lost some of the students that made the class enjoyable as well as part of the group dynamic that we had.

I made it to the end of the course though, and I’m wondering if it’s worth continuing with my lessons when I go back to Amsterdam. On one hand I’ve really enjoyed learning as much as I have, it’s a language I enjoy, even though it’s one that I’m still completely rubbish at.  On the other hand though, it’s not like I’m going to be very exposed to it when I’m in Amsterdam.  Sure I have French colleagues, but I won’t be surrounded by it.  I won’t see it on TV, hear it in the office and attempt to speak it when I’m in the shops.

One thing that I’ve realised both from taking French lessons and speaking to some friends in Amsterdam, is that I need to integrate a little better when I go back to Amsterdam, which means that I need to learn Dutch again if I’m planning to stay longer.  It’s something that doesn’t sound like much fun to be honest, but that I’ll need to think about next month…


I spent the last weekend in 1925.

I was taking photos again at a game for my role playing friend.  The last (and first) game I was a photographer for was set in Casablanca during the time it was under Nazi control, and it was positively simple and straightforward compared to this weekend’s game.

The game was called Le Magot De Pépé which roughly translates to Pépé’s Treasure.  An old man called Pépé has died while in Switzerland, and his family and friends are gathered at his chateau waiting for his body to return and be buried in the family crypt.  He was the owner of a company which purified and sold bronze, and as well as the family who were present at the funeral there were lots of other interesting, and as we would later find out, mysterious mourners.

There were around 30 players for the game which was being played for the first time, as well as the two creators and organisers of the game and four other non-players like myself.  It’s a huge job to put it on and it wasn’t without a few hiccups and lots of late nights for the organisers.  In the end everyone received a character bio (some only 24 hours before the game started) and was well fed, and the story developed kinda smoothly through the day.

The game started at 9am with breakfast in character, after which I took portrait photos of the players for posterity.  After that I was free to walk around taking photos of anything that seemed important or interesting, and since I didn’t understand the story that was unraveling (I could understand conversations but I couldn’t put them together into anything cohesive), I just took photos of things that looked interesting.

After breakfast the body arrived and the funeral ceremony took place with all the mourners, then is laid to rest in the family crypt.  When the mourners entered the chateau after the funeral, 5 phantoms had appeared and started communicating with the living.

magotdepepe crypt

The Crypt

After this I kinda lost track of the story, and so did some of the players as far as I could tell as things kept getting weirder.  To cut a long story short, the game ended at 3:30am with lots of tired people including me.  Sore hands from carrying almost 2kg of camera all day and sore legs from being on my feet for more than 19 hours.

All of the non-players were run off their feet during the game, catching up on sleep and nutrition whenever they found a few spare minutes.  One of the guys was the chef, which by itself was a full time job, as well as creeping around scaring people between meals and setting up props all over the property.  Dinner eventually started around 11pm, which I think is the latest that I’ve ever had a main meal.

magotdepepe playing into the night

Playing late into the night

As far as the photos went I took a few good ones, and enough acceptable ones to make being there worth it.  The morning and afternoon were really frustrating though as my camera was in a mode that I didn’t understand (following it being repaired), where the flash would fire but it’d still take half a second to expose the photo.  This resulted in lots of blurry shots, and I didn’t understand why until half the game was over.  I guess if I was looking on the bright side I could at least say “at least I learned something new,” but that really doesn’t make me feel any better.

I took some really nice photos of the women who were playing.  They looked very glamourous wearing their 1920’s dresses and period hair, but the guys didn’t look very different to today.  The men generally wore hats, and the styles of shirts and suits were a little different but not hugely.

I still quite like being a photographer at the games as it’s a little like being a ghost, which is fitting in this game.  I walk around and see and hear things that other people can’t, and even if I can’t piece the story together I still understand that I know something that the other players would love to find out.  They do a pretty good job of ignoring me too, even when I try to burn their retinas with my flash.

I can normally enter rooms which are otherwise closed too, except once when I walked past the bathroom and heard one male and one female voice having a conversation.  Slightly curious, I was polite enough to knock and say “photographe” before trying the door which was locked.  Cue giggles from inside.  I still don’t know who they were or what they were doing, but I guess they were having an in game relationship.

magotdepepe korrigan

An organiser at 1am

So now I have over 600 photos to sort through and process before next Friday.  Lots of night with little sleep ahead then.  I need to try and get them finished before then as I’m in Amsterdam this coming weekend and then heading off on holiday for 2 weeks the following Friday.  That’ll come on top of the past weekend’s sleep deprivation 😦

It’s all go at the moment.

Friday 6:30pm

Pack up
"Bon weekend"
"À lundi!"
Grab headphones
Pickup bag
Put on jacket
Colleagues, young, old
Beer, wine, peanuts
Terrace, smoking, gossip
Long night ahead
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-┼--┼- Going home, going out
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-┼--┼- Happy, bored, tired, relieved
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-┼--┼- Concentrating, playing, texting, reading
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-┼--┼- Friends, planning
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-┼--┼- Couples, chatting

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Activity, energy, bustling, almost home
Shopkeepers, shuffling, packing, impatient
Baker, greengrocer, cheese seller, butcher
Fresh bread, fresh meat, fresh fruit, dinner

Bigger Than Kiss

I’ve had this song on my iPod for over a year now, and the band never stops putting a smile on my face and a spring in my step