As some of you may know I grew up in the South of France, in the countryside. My parents were farmers and my brothers and I weren’t city kids at all. There was no time for my father and my mother to drive us to the big cities, Toulouse and Bordeaux. The only freedom I could get was with my scooter, exploring the small villages of the region. Toulouse always represented the next level of freedom to me. The place I would visit as an adult, living there by myself. During my last year of high school I applied for college. A few months before my eighteenth birthday I graduated and could leave the countryside and live my dreams in the big city.
The Pink City
You may know that Toulouse is called the Pink City. Why? Well officially because of the architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks, but it would have another meaning for me. This is the town I fell in love, the place I had my first relationships with women, the city where I came out to myself and then to the rest of the world.
I noticed that studying at university wasn’t for me, I stopped at the beginning of the third year. I knew what I didn’t want but not what I wanted. So I basically began to study life : I spent my last year exploring my identity, my sexuality, human connections and night life. I lost my path and I lost myself. I broke many hearts and my heart broke many times. It was at that point I decided to leave the City, to start a new chapter, to find my true self again. Berlin was calling.
The right decision
It was the best decision that I could have ever made. I fell in love with the city, I healed myself from my dark sides and I met my girlfriend. After a year together we moved into a wonderful apartment and after a long and beautiful chapter there we both quit our jobs and left Germany. I took her to my homeland, to show her my origins, my past and at some point the road brought us to the Pink City.
My mindset and lifestyle changed so much that Toulouse – and France in general – didn’t feel like home anymore. Most of the memories I had there were connected to a younger and wilder, fake version of myself. I almost felt happy to feel like that though. I felt proud of my personal growth. I was ready to explore the city with a new and healthier perspective.
Toulouse, the charming City
The beauty of the city had remained unchanged : the small charming streets, the beautiful bridges, the colorful shutters, the old doors, the magic lights at night and the melodious Toulouse accent, the omnipresent melting pot of culture.. The years I spent abroad distanced me from a lot of people but the acquaintances I still had were the positive ones.
After so many years the city changed a bit as well, for the better. There were, for example, more organic shops, more restaurants with vegan options and even the concept of zero waste was getting trendy. We highly recommend this one by the way.
If you’re visiting Toulouse, don’t miss the market of Saint Aubin, every Sunday morning. Local farmers, a lot of organics products, street food, artists and books…You can even find a raw vegan stand with a charming smiley woman who owns it. She makes incredible raw chocolate and desserts full of love and sunshine. Don’t miss her!
La Belle Verte
A few meters from Saint Aubin is my favorite restaurant in town : La Belle Verte. This funky place is owned by a tattooed badass vegan couple, cooking delicious dishes with local and organic food and heaps of passion. Disclaimer : even if the owners are both vegans the menu is not fully plant based. You’ll find a dish with fish for example. Having a fully vegan place is still a very tricky business decision in Toulouse and we hope they’ll take the risk some day. Veganism is becoming bigger in France but things are still moving slowly.
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