I went into the nearest bakery to ask when it closed. Well, I didn't ask in words, my lack of languages got in the way of that. I communicated with actions, as always. She said they closed in an hour. I asked if there was anything she would be throwing away. Click! She understood what I was saying.
"J'ai je be je be jai?" Or something along those lines.
"Oui" I said.
One minute later I was saying thankyou and walking out with three free pies in a bag.
I walked down to the square in the centre of the town and got talking to a man with a huge smile on his face who reminded me that the results of the election vote would be announced in half an hour. I sat down in the square, gobbling up the first bit of food I had eaten all day, whilst watching the crowds form.
I don't know where all the homeless went for that four hours but sure enough they were back on the same seats they had left behind earlier that night. I bought myself a 20c coffee and sat down. Then my guilt built up so much that I splurged another 20c for a drink for the man sat on my right. Apparently, all the homeless in Toulouse can speak English. I got talking to another man who was testing out the city as a place to stay.
"Yeah I really like it here. It's warmer than Paris and the people are nicer."
Everybody kept moving around changing seats, so for a while I was sat next to a lady who was eating a kebab and who couldn't stop laughing.
"She's loopy." The first guy said. "...On crack I think."
My day and night had merged into one. They had been so long I could hardly think straight anymore. I was so taken the night before at the joy of the new president and the morning later I was sat talking to a bunch of people who, rightly so, couldn't give a sh*t about all that because all their positivity had probably been shattered a long time ago. What can François Hollande do for them? What can he do for anybody, everybody? I'm optimistic. And from the moment I got caught up in, it seems that most of the French are too.